Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/q...142120778.html

    Q&A with Honda engine designer

    Daisuke Horiuchi, chief engineer at Honda R&D’s motor sports development division, is the father of the bespoke 1.6-litre turbo HR412E engine that powers the Civic WTCC.

    Are you happy with how things are going after the first track test at Vallelunga?

    This was the first time the engine was running on a proper circuit. We spent the first day to run all the basic system checks, and we also checked the settings. Of course we faced the inevitable teething problems but we could sort them out and the engine worked properly. As a matter of fact the first day was nothing more than a shake down. This enabled us to actually begin the car testing on the second day. So far I am happy and also very confident.

    What are the main challenges an engineer must face in building a WTCC engine?

    I have designed many racing engines for different categories, including Indy Car. I was also involved in the Formula One programme, for which I designed the engine head. The main challenge for the WTCC engine was to cope with the minimum weight and the housing. When you build engines for single-seaters you have few restrictions. The approach is to design the lightest possible engine, then the chassis is built around it. The WTCC engine must weigh at least 95 kilos and has to be housed inside the compartment of the production car. Once you have managed to comply with the restrictions of the technical regulations you also have to work on the reliability, as the engine must last for the whole season, roughly for 6000 kilometres.

    As you are aware, the FIA is working to introduce hybrid technologies in WTCC for the future. How do you see this evolution?

    For sure this is a worldwide trend and all categories of motor sport must follow it. I think that adopting these technologies in touring car racing would be very interesting for all car manufacturers, because all applications may have direct and positive impacts on the normal production cars. Personally speaking I wish this to happen soon.



    Next-Gen Honda Civic to be Developed by Honda North America

    The next-generation Honda Civic coupe and sedan will be primarily developed by Honda’s North American team, Erik Berkman, president of Honda R&D Americas, has announced. Speaking at the Center for Automotive Research Briefing Seminars in Michigan, Berkman said the North American team will lead development for the U.S.-spec Honda Civic we can expect in the 2017 or 2018 model year.

    Next Gen Honda Civic to be Developed by Honda North America image“I am pleased that a team of engineers in America will have a major responsibility for the development of the next-generation Civic,” Berkman said in his speech. “We’ve got a pretty good track record with the Civic…starting with the 1993 Civic Coupe. …Now, we will take on the larger challenge of leading development for the next-generation Civic sedan and coupe for this market.”

    Creating a new and improved Civic will be the latest challenge for the American R&D team, which is also playing a significant role in the creation of the new Acura NSX supercar. Previously, the team helped engineer the 2006 Civic coupe, which was part of the compact car lineup that became our 2006 car of the year. Here’s what we said about it:

    “Honda deserves a standing ovation for not playing it safe again, for crafting a compact car that’s edgier and more soulful than it needs to be. The automotive joy that Honda Motor Company was founded on radiates from these new Civics.”

    Next Gen Honda Civic to be Developed by Honda North America imageMany Honda fans felt the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic did exactly what the 2006 model avoided – play it safe. Before the American team leads the design of the next-generation Civic, though, Honda is addressing the wrongs critics found in the U.S.-spec 2012 Honda Civic. The new compact sedan and coupe were just introduced last year, but Honda is already planning a refresh possibly for the 2013 model year, with improvements to the interior and exterior.

    “While [the 2012 Honda Civic] received some mixed reviews, our customers have made it the best-selling compact car in America this year,” Berkman said. “Still, our goal is not to be best-selling…our target is best.”

    One of the team’s first successes was the 1993 Civic coupe. Berkman notes that 30 percent of the automaker’s North American lineup was developed here. Taking that into consideration, we don’t see why the team couldn’t bring forth a groundbreaking next-generation Civic that wowed us as much as the 2006 Civic. While the upcoming refreshed Honda Civic will be on the streets before long, we’ll just have to patiently wait and see what Honda’s North American R&D has in store for the next-generation model.

    Source: Honda



    Honda Civic Test Drive, 9 Generations Of Fun

    THE first ever Honda Civic arrived at our shores in the early 1970s as a small compact 3 door car. Over the last 8 generations it evolved in size, technology and drivetrain. Now the 9th generation Civic arrives with 3 powertrains to choose from and a new look that has already seen 2,800 plus customers in just 1 month from its launch. This is a true testament to the immense popularity of the Civic nameplate in Malaysia.

    Honda Malaysia has brought in a 1.8-liter, 2-liter and an all new 1.5-liter Hybrid with prices starting from just RM119,980.

    We have to say that the 1.5-liter Hybrid is our pick of the lot. This is a practical family sedan, with plenty of passenger space, decent cargo room, sensible interior, class best amenities and a very fuel efficient engine. On the 1.5L Hybrid test drive the new petrol engine worked its charm with good power delivery working well with the battery pack to provide responsive high speed highway power and good torque. The firm chassis provided a spirited drive. Handling was good and the steering feedback felt much better over the previous model. The new generation Lithium Ion battery pack is smaller, more powerful, lighter and sits behind the rear seats. This reduces cargo space in the boot.

    Its 2-liter sibling is a totally different ‘animal’ to drive. The 2-liter offers the kind of power, performance and handling that will appeal to the driving enthusiast and not the typical buyer you will find in this segment. The hybrid Civic is more at home commuting to and fro work or picking up groceries than carving corners or in a traffic light sprint.


    The difference between the three models is down to consumer needs. The 2-liter feeds on high revs. The engine delivers a punch from low revs and makes a sporty noise all the way up the engine revolution.

    The power delivery itself is very smooth and Honda purists will certainly not be disappointed. Honda is the 1st manufacturer to have an ECO assist button on a petrol driven car. This allows drivers to get the best possible fuel consumption from their 2-liter Civic. The 1.8-liter is the middle child model that provides decent power and handling whilst returning good fuel economy.

    This new Civic roofline is lower than the previous 8th generation Civic giving it a more streamlined profile for added fuel efficiency.


    There is a flat under floor pan to aid in wind-flow and its nose and tail is more aerodynamic now for lower air flow drag. In cabin features come with keyless GO for the 2L and Hybrid Civic, start stop ignition an 8-way electric powered seat and a new updated in car entertainment system with a 5-inch information screen on the top center. The screen shows fuel efficiency, drive cycle and entertainment information. All functioning buttons sit on the left side on the steering wheel and is easy to use. On the instrument panel, all Civic models get a colored display to show how fuel efficient the driver is behind the wheel. Colors blue, light blue and green for best efficiency teaches the driver how best to get fuel efficiency from the Civic on a daily drive.

    This new Civic comes in Alabaster Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Taffeta White. The Hybrid variant comes in Frosty White Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Taffeta White. The 1.8L sells for RM131,980 and the 2.0L Navi for RM136,980. The Civic Hybrid is selling at RM119,980. All prices are on the road price including insurance. Honda Malaysia is introducing a new and attractive after-service package:

    1. 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage*

    2. 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage* for IMA battery

    3. Extension of preventive maintenance interval from 5,000km to 10,000km

    4. Free labour service up to 6 visits for every alternate paid service until 100,000km

    *terms and conditions apply



    Honda donates to flood victims

    Manila, Philippines — Honda Motor Co., Ltd. of Japan, the parent company of the four Honda companies in the Philippines, announced that it will donate ¥1M (about Php 500,000) to families affected by the recent floods that hit the country.

    Honda Motor Co., Ltd. fully understands the plight of the 539,838 families or 2 million Filipinos affected by the heavy floods, which continues to remain a significant economic and political issue in the Philippines.

    In addition, Honda Foundation, Inc., the working organization for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities of the Honda Group in the Philippines: Honda Philippines, Inc. (motorcycle manufacturer), Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (car manufacturer), Honda Parts Manufacturing Corp. (Honda parts supplier), and Honda Trading Philippines, will donate One Million Pesos to help provide aid and assistance to the families and communities devastated by the recent calamity, and also help in disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts.



    Honda Jazz and Toyota Avensis named most reliable cars

    London, August 11 (ANI): Honda Jazz and Toyota Avensis have been voted as the best cars on the market, as they spend only 0.17 days a year in the garage for repairs, a survey has revealed.

    They were followed by Suzuki Swift - 0.18 days, Kia Picanto - 0.24 days and Peugeot with 0.24 days.

    Meanwhile, BMW 3 series convertible is said to be the worst car in the market, another of its brands, the BMW 5 Series Touring, came in third position behind Land Rover Discovery 3.

    According to the latest research by Which? the BMW 3 series convertible spends almost a day longer off the road every year due to faults than any other car.

    The 2012 Which? Car Survey, questioned nearly 40,000 drivers about more than 47,000 cars that they owned, revealed that the cars aged four to eight years old spent most time off the road.

    "These cars are likely to be outside the warranty period - making repairs a potentially much greater expense," the Daily Mail quoted Which? as saying.

    "Getting your car repaired at a garage can be expensive and inconvenient. So we've used exclusive Which? Car Survey data to uncover the cars that are most likely to break down - and how long, on average, they are off the road for.

    "The best cars are likely to be off the road due to faults less for than 0.2 days per year. However, the worst offender - the BMW 3 Series Convertible - clocks up nearly 3.5 days in the repair garage," Which? added. (ANI)



    An Ideal Fit for Students

    The ever-popular Honda Fit has been recognized by the automotive experts at KBB.com as one of their 10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2012. According to the website, which is the online headquarters for Kelley Blue Book: “Shuttling friends and hauling cargo are definite musts for any student, and few subcompact cars do either as well as the Honda Fit. With an uncommonly flexible rear seat—it folds down AND up—the Fit can accommodate an impressive variety of people and cargo configurations. Backed by a full tank of Honda reliability, the Fit is also a smart choice to go from high school to grad school, and all the way to the real world.”

    The Fit can go a lot further than that, too, thanks to EPA grades of 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway/31 mpg combined, and the high-value Honda aces its economics class with an MSRP of $15,325 for the 2013 model year—unchanged from 2012. Other back-to-school benefits include a standard 160-watt audio system with USB port, 10 beverage holders, and an available satellite-linked nav system with voice-control functionality. Those features and more have helped the Fit garner an impressive list of other industry accolades this year, too, with the car also winning the “$16,000 Subcompact Shootout,” presented by Cars.com, USA Today and MotorWeek; earning Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; and making its sixth appearance on Car and Drive’s “10 Best Cars” list.

    Capping off this prize-winning performance, the Fit is literally the Most Ideal Economy Car in the country, recently capturing that crown in the Autobytel/AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards.

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    • http://www.autoblog.com/2012/08/09/h...ehicle-design/

      Honda's U.S. operations to take lead on more vehicle design

      Honda has been dinged by the media – us included – for recent lackluster designs, most notably the 2012 Civic. While the company has mostly adhered to its public position that everything is fine, clearly there are some changes being wrought behind the scenes at the Japanese automaker. For one, Honda's North American product development team is going to be taking over the next-generation Civic, according to Automotive News.

      Honda will also be developing the Acura NSX here, according to remarks made by Erik Berkman, the company's new president of Honda R&D Americas, speaking at the annual Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars. Berkman has been in charge of Honda's Ohio-based research and development center since April. The organization has some 2,000 employees, a number which is likely to grow in the next few years, according to the report.



      Consumer Reports calls out "Five Popular Cars To Avoid"

      Those crusaders of shopping empowerment over at Consumer Reports have put together a list of five cars to avoid, even if their sales numbers suggest otherwise. CR points out that just because a vehicle is making a lot of buzz and ringing cash registers, that doesn't necessarily make it a wise choice for buyers. According to the report, these are vehicles that either tested poorly or have been experiencing poor reliability in their new car surveys.

      Perhaps of little surprise is the presence of the Honda Civic on this list. The latest Civic has been getting dinged by auto critics left and right, and CR specifically points to a "Choppy ride, noisy cabin, vague steering, and mediocre interior quality" as reasons for its inclusion on the list. Its a good thing, then, that a short-term update is its way.

      Perhaps unsurprisingly, Consumer Reports once again voices its disapproval of the Toyota Prius C. We knew they weren't in love with it when they reviewed it back in May, and apparently the passage of time hasn't softened their opinions of Toyota's least-expensive hybrid.

      Check out the gallery of all five cars that Consumer Reports is telling buyers to avoid and then weigh in with your thought in Comments.



      Honda increasingly looking to U.S. for R&D

      Once run almost entirely from its home offices in Japan, Honda is looking to its North American research and development teams to be much much heavily involved in future vehicle projects, the automaker’s R&D Americas president said.

      In part, the increased level of responsibility that has given Honda’s North American operations a nearly autonomous feel comes from the strong yen, which hurts Honda’s ability to develop and subsequently build cars at home in Japan. But that’s not all, North American R&D chief Erik Berkman told reporters at an a summit in Traverse City, Michigan.

      “Our U.S. R&D team is taking the next step in our growth toward an even larger responsibility for meeting the needs of our customers in North America,” Berkman said, according to Automotive News.

      Honda’s U.S. engineering offices – which are primarily in California and Ohio, although the automaker’s website lists other facilities in North Carolina, Colorado and Michigan – have taken the lead on developing its new Acura NSX hybrid sports car. Though that upcoming car is expected to be an engineering flagship for the brand, the North American offices are also now responsible for developing higher-volume products for North American buyers, including a refreshed version of the flagging current Civic and, Berkman says, the next-generation Accord coupe and wagon, as well as “a few Acura models.”

      The Civic is Honda’s best seller, but a 2012 redesign missed the mark with critics and consumers alike. Although sales have essentially rebounded, Honda has conceded that it is losing market share against rivals from Detroit, Japan and Germany, so it green-lighted an express refresh of the primarily North American market model. A new Accord was formally revealed yesterday in coupe and sedan forms, but the North American office’s role in the two-door’s development was not expressly stated until today. The inclusion of the primarily global-market Accord wagon, which is sold here as the Acura TSX Sport Wagon, is a bit of a head-scratcher, however.



      The 10 Best Luxury SUVs and Crossovers You Can Buy Today

      There has never been a better time to buy a luxury SUV or crossover. After years of tarted-up trucks, premium-priced SUVs and crossovers from Asia, Europe and the United States are finally living up to their promise: They have become high-riding luxury cars that offer excellent visibility, haul-anything cargo capacity and all-weather traction.

      In creating this list, we wanted to highlight only the best premium SUVs and crossovers. We considered any vehicle from a luxury automaker as long as it was at least vaguely SUV or crossover-like in design. German automaker BMW is especially notable for blurring the line between crossover, SUV and standard passenger car. Although neither its X6 “sports activity vehicle” or 5-Series GT five-door tall hatchback made our list, both models certainly stretch any SUV or crossover definition we’ve seen.

      We also limited our list to vehicles offered by mainstream manufacturers. Even though exclusivity is often luxurious, the cars on our list are at least somewhat widely available. To qualify as a premium brand, we figure that everything a qualifying company offers in North America needs to be a luxury car. As impressive and luxurious as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland can be, it sits at the top of a product range that runs down to the most Spartan Jeep Wrangler. So to the mega-luxe Volkswagen Touareg, which shares a showroom with roll-up-window Volkswagen Jettas.

      Our list comes from our extensive new vehicle testing. Our team of editors has sampled just about every new vehicle on the market – from subcompacts to vehicles worth more than a nice home in most cities.

      Without further ado, here’s Leftlane’s list of our favorite premium SUVs and crossovers.

      The 10 best luxury SUVs and crossovers you can buy

      Acura RDX. A mere fraction the price of many of the other vehicles on this list, the redesigned-for-2013 RDX is a serious standout. A strong but efficient new V6 engine and an emphasis on both ride quality and handling make it an incredibly livable vehicle, the kind of trusty – but also pampering – crossover most buyers really want. In short, the RDX proves that you don’t have to spend big to be treated to a state-of-the-art luxury ride. Opt for the Technology Package and you’ll net a stellar audio system tuned by Grammy and Emmy-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner. If it’s not the best stereo in the business, it’s darn close.
      Special mention:At about $35,000, the RDX is by far the cheapest vehicle to make our list.

      Audi Q7. Something of an in-betweener, the Q7 is a bit roomier than a BMW X5 but not quite as spacious as a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. That sizing might make it Goldilocks’ choice, especially if she opts for either the 333-horsepower Q7 S-Line or the torque-monster Q7 TDI. European buyers can opt for a big V10 diesel engine that makes the Q7 a surprisingly fuel-efficient way to get from Point A to Point B in capacious speed.

      BMW X5. Though the X5 might be the workaday sibling to the style-oriented X6, we think its more practical approach makes it the better overall choice. Besides, it’s a lot better looking to our eyes. As adept on a race track as it is barreling down a highway or simply dropping the kids off at school, the X5 is one of the world’s most versatile vehicles. And it’s home to three of our favorite engines: BMW’s turbocharged six and eight-cylinder gas engines, as well as its remarkably powerful and fuel efficient diesel six. The latter would be our choice.

      Cadillac SRX. Showing how far General Motors’ Cadillac brand has come, the latest SRX is the first premium crossover the division has ever offered that needs to make no excuses for itself. A new engine last year brought with it a much-needed increase in performance, but the SRX remains comfortable and extremely well-outfitted – especially inside. Here’s to hoping the upcoming Escalade replacement merits a mention the next time we make this list.

      Infiniti QX56. Subtlety, thy name is not QX56. This big bruiser SUV, a close cousin of the big-in-Middle-East Nissan Patrol, oozes with luxury. From its stunning glossy wood and upscale leather interior to its myriad standard equipment, the QX56 is everything a well-heeled family of eight could ever want – and it’ll tow whatever doesn’t fit inside. With the optional Technology Package, the QX56 contains more radar than NORAD (well, maybe not quite), which means it can sense impending collisions and help keep the QX56′s inattentive driver between the lines.

      Land Rover Range Rover. How could we not include the original luxury SUV? Truth be told, the first Range Rovers were only luxurious compared to their farm implement Land Rover siblings, but this iconic vehicle has evolved into the epitome of premium, high-seated motoring. Moreover, it still boasts tremendous off road ability, even though few owners will ever venture beyond the pavement. The pick of the litter is the Supercharged model, but even the naturally-aspirated variant is more an event than a mere motor vehicle.
      Special mention: With its largely hand-finished premium interior, the Range Rover Autobiography is arguably the most hedonistic vehicle on our list.

      Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Sized and shaped more like the original Range Rovers, the Sport isn’t quite as adept off road as its big brother, but it’s a lot more maneuverable around town. Its sporty interior is furnished as nicely as a luxury suite in the world’s finest hotels, while its exterior offers everything from subtlety to bling. Like the big Rover, the Sport offers either superfast Supercharged or still impressive naturally-aspirated powertrains.

      Lexus GX 460. Like the Range Rover, the GX 460 is a formidable off roader, even if most buyers might not realize its four-wheeling attributes. Luxuriously appointed inside and out – and capable of seating seven passengers – the GX 460 is an intriguing balance between rugged and plush. We’d order our GX 460 with the optional Crawl Control system just in case we ever decided to take the scenic route home. Its larger LX 570 brother is equally impressive, but we like the GX’s smaller size more.
      Special mention: The GX 460 placed higher than any other vehicle here on our list of the 10 most off road-capable luxury SUVs.

      Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Mercedes-Benz said that it set out to create a seven-passenger SUV equivalent to its S-class sedan with the new-for-2013 GL-Class and we’d say they succeeded. Leaps and bounds ahead of the already-impressive first-generation GL inside and underneath, the latest GL is plush but positively loaded up with upscale features. To make yours even fancier, an optional Designo package adds boudoir-esque diamond-stitched leather and unique wood choices.
      Special mention: The GL’s available Designo package gives it the most cosseting interior of any vehicle on this list.

      Porsche Cayenne. Porsche’s SUV seemed like an uncharacteristic misfire for the 911-maker when the first variant arrived about a decade ago, but it has morphed into an accomplished – and highly-profitable – best-seller for the brand. There’s a Cayenne for everyone, from the base manual-transmission V6 model to diesel, hybrid and turbocharged gas variants. And purists should rest comfortably knowing that every Cayenne sold directly adds to the development budget for the 911.
      Special menton: Rated at 29 mpg, the Porsche Cayenne Diesel is the most fuel-efficient vehicle on our list.



      Honda Insight to come to China later this year

      We have seen it testing and now it has been confirmed: the Honda Insight hybrid will be launched on the China car market later this year. The Insight will be the second Honda hybrid in China next to the CR-Z that was launched last month.

      The Insight will be imported, just like the CR-Z, and will therefore be expensive, price will start around 300.000 yuan. Back in 2010 we reported about Honda’s plans to produce both cars locally, but it seems that won’t happen anytime soon. The market for hybrids is still very small in China and the high price for these Honda’s won’t do much to change that, but it might work for the brand as some high-tech halo thing.
      Via: Autohome.
      Last edited by tokyodream; 12-08-12, 07:24.
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      • Honda Accord 2013 primele fotografii oficiale


        Honda vient de publier les deux premières images de sa nouvelle Accord en vue extérieure. L’allure de l’habitacle et les informations techniques de la berline japonaise de neuvième génération devraient être dévoilées à l’automne.
        La nouvelle Honda Accord avait été espionnée en juin dernier avec un épais camouflage sur le dos. Du coup, les photos qui en découlaient n'avait pas permis d'apprécier son allure.

        Honda a décidé de lever aujourd'hui le secret gardé autour de sa berline aux quatre décennies. Le constructeur japonais vient de publier les premières images officielles, une de trois-quarts avant et l'autre de trois-quarts arrière.

        La lignée de l'Accord est pour l'heure riche de huit générations dont la première remonte à l'année 1976. Cette neuvième du nom s'inspire du concept présenté à Détroit en janvier.

        Les lignes de la berline deviennent plus affirmées avec des optiques qui se trouvent dans le prolongement dynamique de la calandre. L'allure générale reste proche de la version restylée aperçue à Genève 2011 même si les angles de la poupe sont plus arrondis.

        Cette neuvième génération a l'avantage d'être plus compacte que le modèle actuel. Les premières indiscrétions indiquent que l'habitabilité n'en serait pas pénalisée. Il faudra le vérifier quand Honda décidera de révéler l'habitacle.

        Se contentant de publier deux images de l'extérieur de sa berline, Honda n'a pas dévoilé la nature des motorisations qui lui seront réservées. Les informations techniques de cette Accord de neuvième génération devraient être dévoilées à l'automne.

        '09 Honda Accord Sedan 2.4 i-VTEC A/T, Executive, Crystal Black Pearl


        • http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...tive-says.html

          Honda Expects Best U.S. Sales Since ’07, Executive Says

          Honda Motor Co. expects its August deliveries to be up “40-plus percent” on U.S. demand for Civic small cars and CR-V crossovers, buoying a 27 percent annual rise to the company’s best sales in the region in five years.

          Deliveries of Honda and Acura vehicles will reach at least 1.46 million this year, U.S. Executive Vice President John Mendel said in an Aug. 23 interview in Santa Barbara, California. That would be Tokyo-based Honda’s best U.S. sales since 2007 as its North American plants work overtime to supply dealers asking for more Civics and CR-Vs, he said.
          Enlarge image Honda Expects 2012 U.S. Sales to Rise 27%, U.S. Sales Chief Says

          Honda Motor Co. plans to accelerate U.S. sales in 2012’s second half as North American production grows and a new Accord sedan and modified Civic small car are added. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
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          “We’re running at 120 to 130 percent of capacity at some of our plants, and still it’s my leaky tub,” Mendel said. “When sales are increasing at the same rate your production is increasing, you’re not gaining ground in inventory.”

          Honda, Japan’s third-largest automaker, plans to accelerate U.S. sales in 2012’s second half as North American production grows and a new Accord sedan and modified Civic small car are added. Natural disasters in Asia in 2011 pared output of parts needed by Honda’s North American factories. The company’s U.S. deliveries grew 19 percent in this year’s first seven months, aided by a 45 percent gain in July.

          Honda’s North American factories made 75 percent more vehicles in 2012’s first half. More than 87 percent of Honda and Acura models sold in the first half were produced in North America, up from 84 percent a year earlier.

          The company’s U.S. sales peaked at 1.55 million vehicles in 2007, dropping to 1.43 million in 2008 as deliveries plummeted industrywide because of the recession. In 2011, Honda sold 1.15 million cars and light trucks.
          ‘Good Shape’

          Production is surging to make up for lost inventory last year and dealer shortages that continued into 2012’s first quarter, Mendel said. With industrywide sales continuing to rebound, dealers simply want more vehicles, he said.

          “Coming into August, I think we’re in very good shape, in terms of inventory and attitude” of dealers, Mendel said. “Accord is moving very well. Civic is moving well. CR-V is doing well.”

          Accord sales gained 28 percent this year through July, while Civic rose 32 percent and CR-V 34 percent. Among midsize sedans, Accord trails only Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Camry; Civic is the top-selling small car in the market; and CR-V ranks as the best-selling sport-utility vehicle.
          Increased Spending

          Incentives, mainly in the form of discounted loans and leases, have risen particularly on the Accord as the model is soon to be replaced, Mendel said.

          The company spent an average of $2,263 a vehicle in July, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp. While that amount is below an industry average of $2,482, the company now spends more than Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) at $1,849 and $829, according to Autodata.

          Spending should moderate after the release of the new Accord in September, Mendel said.

          “The bottom line is if it’s higher than zero, it’s higher than we want it,” he said.

          Honda’s U.S. headquarters is in Torrance, California. The company’s American depositary receipts gained 0.5 percent to $33.33 yesterday in New York. They have advanced 9.1 percent this year.



          Honda Motor : Honda Becomes World’s First Mobility Company to Disclose Estimates of All Greenhouse Gas Emissions

          Honda Becomes World's First Mobility Company to Disclose Estimates of All Greenhouse Gas Emissions

          TOKYO, Japan, August 25, 2012 - Honda Motor Co. Ltd. became the world's first*1 mobility company to disclose estimates of all of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including emissions from Honda's global business operations and customer use of Honda motorcycles, automobiles and power products.

          By calculating and disclosing global GHG emissions as a responsible company engaged in the area of mobility, Honda will continue making proactive progress with its global initiatives to reduce GHG and further extend the Honda LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) approach.

          The estimates of GHG emissions disclosed today by Honda were calculated in conformity with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol)*2, which are currently the most widely used international accounting standards to measure GHG emissions. The GHG Protocol defines three scopes of emissions by categorizing different business activities. Honda has been disclosing all Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions since 2009 and disclosed a part of Scope 3 emissions (global Category 11 emissions) for the first time on June 20, 2012. With today's disclosure of all Scope 3 emissions, Honda has disclosed all GHG emissions defined by the GHG Protocol.

          Moreover, Honda today also disclosed for the first time on its website (inside of web content titled the Environmental documentary, "Honda Face" currently available only in Japanese, URL: http://www.honda.co.jp/environment/face/2012/), conditions for the calculation of data required to determine Scope 3 Category 11 emissions, including customers' lifetime product use and annual traveling distance.
          *1 Honda internal research *2 GHG Protocol (the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) is guideline determined by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute for GHG accounting. Honda's GHG emissions during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012
          (Calculated in conformity with GHG accounting and reporting standards) *3 CO2e is an abbreviation for the "carbon dioxide-equivalent" which is calculated by converting six GHG substances defined in the Kyoto Protocol [carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)] into the equivalent of CO2. Scope 3 GHG emissions by category * Honda excludes Categories 8, 9, 13 and 14 emissions from the calculation of Scope 3 emissions for the following reasons;

          Category 8 (upstream leased asset) is included as a consumption by the reporting company (Scope 1 and Scope 2)
          Category 9 (downstream transportation and distribution) is included in Category 4 (upstream transportation and distribution)
          Category 13 (downstream leased asset) is included in Category 11 (use of sold products)
          Category 14 (franchises) is not applicable as Honda does not have any franchises



          IntelliChoice: Insight Earns Best Overall Value of the Year Award

          While many of today’s latest hybrid cars offer excellent fuel efficiency, fewer offer excellent value. The 2012 Honda Insight, however, delivers both. According to the EPA, the affordably priced Insight can achieve 41 mpg city/44 mpg highway/42 mpg combined. According to the experts at IntelliChoice, it’s also the No. 1 Compact Car in their annual Best Overall Value of the Year Awards. And as you can tell by its name, the honor takes into account much more than fuel efficiency. According to IntelliChoice, the winners are chosen through “careful and practical analysis of seven major ownership cost areas; depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance.”

          But the Insight does happen to be exceedingly frugal at the fuel pumps. In fact, those EPA grades, along with its low level of emissions, also scored it a place on this year’s “2012 Greenest List” from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). It wasn’t the only product from Honda to receive that recognition, either. Honda topped all other brands with four entries among the 12 award winners, also including:

          Honda Civic Natural Gas—The only factory-built, CNG-powered car produced in America, the Civic Natural Gas is now available in more than 35 states and was named 2012 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal.
          Honda Civic Hybrid—Now able to post EPA marks of 44 mpg city/44 mpg highway/44 mpg combined.
          Honda CR-Z—Offering a dynamic driving experience, aggressive styling and EPA ratings of up to 35 mpg city/39 mpg highway/37 mpg combined.

          Said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda: “The ACEEE’s annual recognition of Honda’s fuel-efficient vehicles further validates our commitment to create a cleaner, more energy-efficient and sustainable transportation future.”



          1994 Honda Accord was most stolen car for fourth year in a row
          Other top targets for thieves included the1998 Honda Civic and full-size 2006 Ford pickup, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Hot Wheels report.

          The car stolen most often in the U.S. last year — for the fourth year in a row — was the 1994 Honda Accord, according to the annual Hot Wheels report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

          Next, thieves liked to go for the 1998 Honda Civic, according to the report from the nonprofit group that focuses on theft and insurance fraud prevention. Honda vehicles have been the two most popular autos for thieves since 2005.

          The third-most-stolen car was a full-size 2006 Ford pickup. The 1991 Toyota Camry came in fourth.

          It marked the first time in at least a decade that the Camry wasn't among the top three.

          Rounding out the top 10 for 2011, in order, were the 2000 Dodge Caravan, the 1994 Acura Integra, the 1999 Chevrolet pickup, the 2004 Dodge pickup, the 2002 Ford Explorer and the 1994 Nissan Sentra.

          Hot Wheels collects data about vehicles reported stolen to law enforcement, regardless of insurance status. Based on early figures, thefts in 2011 fell 3.3% from the 737,142 cars purloined in 2010, hitting the lowest point since 1967.

          But crooks may also be getting more tech-savvy. The theft of late-model vehicles was on the rise, even though those cars "are theoretically harder to steal due to sophisticated key code technology," NICB Chief Executive Joe Wehrle said in a statement.

          Thieves generally take a holiday on Christmas — it was the day with the fewest vehicle thefts of the year. New Year's Day, however, had the most. Memorial Day, Halloween and Labor Day were also rife with incidents.

          Turning to California, the car stolen most often in the state was also the 1994 Honda Accord, followed by the 1998 Honda Civic and 1991 Toyota Camry.

          Fourth was the 1994 Acura Integra, followed by the 2004 Chevrolet pickup, 2006 Ford pickup, 1994 Nissan Sentra, 2010 Toyota Corolla, 1997 Nissan Altima and 1988 Toyota pickup.



          Honda's new 'Earth Dreams' drivetrains go into production

          Production of the "Earth Dreams" powertrains that will slot into the 2013 Honda Accord has begun at the Japanese automaker's Anna Engine and Honda Transmission Mfg. plants, both of which will supply the Ohio assembly lines where the Accord is built.

          As one would expect with car as important to Honda as the ninth-generation Accord, the company has made a huge investment in the North American debut of its new direct-injected, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a new CVT transmission, and a 3.5-liter V6 and its optional six-speed automatic. Honda has spent $220 million on expansions, casting operations and automated lines for its associates, and the plant is now able to make 1.8 million Earth Dreams engines annually.

          The new engines are said to be good for a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to current offerings, and the powerplants will eventually migrate to other models in Honda's lineup. Check out the press release below for more information.

          Honda Plants Start Producing 'Earth Dreams' Engines, Transmissions for All-new 2013 Honda Accord
          9th Generation Accord Launches at Marysville Auto Plant on Monday, Aug. 20

          ANNA and RUSSELLS Point, Ohio, Aug. 16, 2012 – Honda's engine and transmissions plants in Ohio today started mass production of Honda's new "Earth Dreams" powertrain series, a new generation of engines and transmissions that will make their U.S. debut on the all-new 2013 Honda Accord that will begin mass production this Monday at Honda's auto plant in Marysville, Ohio.

          Along with a total redesign of the vehicle, the ninth-generation Accord is the first in North America to apply Honda's Earth Dreams engine and transmission technologies that offer improved fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance. This includes a new four-cylinder direct injection engine paired with a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), and a new V-6 engine with 6-speed automatic transmission that provide an excellent combination of fuel efficiency and performance.

          "This next generation of technological advancements in our powertrains will greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency," said John Spoltman, plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant. "Our associates have incredible experience and they are employing all of their skills to launching this exciting new series of engines for an Accord that will excel in all areas."

          Honda is investing $220 million to launch the CVT production for the vehicles produced in North America, including $120 million at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America for the new CVT line that started mass production today, and nearly $100 million at the Anna Engine Plant for the production of the CVT's high-tech pulley components starting next year.

          The expanded production will create 150 jobs at the two plants.

          "Our continuing investments in Ohio illustrate how we intend to meet the needs of our global customers by implementing advanced technologies in our production operations and in our products," said Honda Transmission Plant Manager Gary Hand. "Our associates are looking forward to delivering best quality as we launch these new CVTs and six-speed automatic transmissions."

          Associates at Honda Transmission are assembling the Accord CVTs on a new, highly automated assembly line constructed as part of a $70 million, 200,000-squre-foot plant expansion. An additional $50 million is being invested in a 75,000-square-foot expansion of the facility for additional aluminum casting operations to support the CVT assembly line.

          At the Anna Engine Plant, construction is under way to utilize 84,000-square-feet of space for production of the CVT pulley components, which involves highly precise lathing, heat-treating, grinding and subassembly operations. Production of the CVT pulleys will begin at the engine plant next year, when that production will transfer from initial CVT pulley production in Japan.

          Following assembly at Honda Transmission, the CVTs and six-speed automatic transmissions are shipped to the Anna Engine Plant, where they are joined to the engines at the end of the engine assembly operations. Then the powertrain components are shipped to the Accord assembly lines at the Marysville Auto Plant. With capacity to manufacture 1.18 million V-6 and four-cylinder engines annually, the Anna plant is the largest automobile engine factory in Honda's global production network.

          The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will feature all-new powertrains, including the first U.S. application of the new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine. The engine will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or the new CVT that utilizes an innovative control system for excellent acceleration and responsive shifting. The Accord Sedan and Coupe also will be offered with a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine, paired to a new 6-speed automatic transmission or an available 6-speed manual transmission.

          About Honda in Ohio
          Based on Honda's longstanding commitment to "build products close to the customer," Honda began operations at its first U.S. auto plant nearly 30 years ago, on Nov. 1, 1982, in Marysville, Ohio. The Marysville plant currently employs approximately 4,400 associates. In addition to producing both the four-cylinder and V6 models of the Accord Sedan and Coupe, the Marysville plant is the sole manufacturing site for the Acura TL luxury Sedan. Honda and Acura vehicles are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.

          Honda also operates an auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, that builds the segment-leading Honda CR-V compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and the Honda Crosstour crossover utility vehicle, and the Acura RDX luxury SUV. Honda has the capacity to build 680,000 automobiles annually at its two Ohio auto plants.

          In addition to manufacturing, Honda has established substantial R&D operations in Ohio, along with other operations that support product development, manufacturing and sales of Honda and Acura products in North America. The company employs more than 13,500 Ohioans and tens of thousands more through its suppliers and other business partners.
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          • http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...t-altima-sales

            Honda begins production of new Accord in Ohio

            The first mass-production version of the 2013 model year Honda Motor Co <7267.T> Accord sedan, fully made over and the most important new vehicle for Honda this year in the U.S. market, rolled off an Ohio assembly line on Monday, the company said.

            The 2013 Accord will go on sale at U.S. dealerships next month. The 2012 version of the Accord is the second-biggest-selling car in the United States so far this year, behind the Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> Camry.

            The Accord has been made at the Honda plant northwest of Columbus, Ohio since 1982, when Honda became the first Japanese automaker with a U.S. plant.

            Since then, more than 9 million Accord sedans have been made at the plant.

            "For 30 years, the Accord has been the signature vehicle from Honda, and it remains the industry benchmark in a very competitive segment," said Hide Iwata, president and chief executive of Honda of America Manufacturing.

            Honda hopes that the full makeover of the Accord will help it keep pace or outsell the likes of the Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata.

            Sales generally spike when a model gets a makeover, and Honda expects that the ninth-generation of the Accord will follow that trend when it goes on sale next month. Sales for the current 2012 version of the Accord are up 28 percent this year.

            The midsize sedan market is the most competitive in the United States. By year's end, most of the major competitors will be selling models that have been significantly updated in the past year.

            Through July, five of the 11 top-selling models in the U.S. auto market were midsize sedans. And, excluding pickup trucks and SUVs, five of the top seven were midsize sedans.

            The top-selling midsize car through July was far and away the Camry, updated last year, at 243,816 sold. That was 24 percent more than the Accord, followed closely by the Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> Altima.

            Most of those Altima sales were for its 2012 model, which is still on dealer lots, sharing space with the new 2013 Altima.

            The first revamped Camry rolled off an assembly line in Kentucky a year ago this week. Sales of Camry are up 40 percent so far this year.

            After Altima in 2012 sales is the Ford Motor Co Fusion. A new Fusion for the 2013 model year will go on sale later this year.

            Then, in order, comes the Chevrolet Malibu from General Motors Co and the Sonata from Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS>.



            Hondas To Be As 'American' As Detroit Cars By 2015 ?

            A few weeks ago, we wondered whether U.S. consumers found it more important to buy a car that's "made in America" or one that's made by an American company.

            The post generated some interesting discussion, with several readers pointing out -- quite rightly -- that in this day and age, it's become increasingly hard to find a vehicle that's truly "made in America" (meaning, "made in the U.S."). And while many consumers are likely to stick with Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors in the future, we have a hunch that others who were once Detroit loyalists may become a little more...flexible.

            Those people will be prime targets for Honda. According to Wards Auto, 89% of the vehicles Honda currently sells in the U.S. are made in North America (including Canada and Mexico). But by 2015, that figure will rise to 96%.

            That number is on par with Detroit's Big Three, which build about 97% of their U.S. cars in North America. And it's far ahead of other automakers, which generally manufacture 60% of their U.S. models in our region.

            Why the shift?

            One of Honda's biggest motivations for moving its activities here is the strong yen, which makes manufacturing in Japan an expensive proposition. The automaker has been investing heavily in upgrades to plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with plans to boost production dramatically in coming years and to shift some models away from Japan entirely.

            The last vehicle to jump the Pacific should be the highly popular Fit, which is expected to begin production at Honda's new factory in Mexico by 2014. However, depending on the financial markets, it's possible that Honda could move other vehicles to North America entirely -- vehicles like the Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V, which are now built both here and in Japan. If that happens, it could shift the number of North American-built Hondas sold in the U.S. to almost 100%.

            Detroit loyalists: would this change your opinion of Honda? Or will you still swear allegiance to the Big Three? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.



            Woodruff honored for work with Honda
            Richmond manufacturer recognized for second year in row

            Mike Wallace, associate chief adviser for Honda of America, presents a plaque to Gus Finet, vice president of operations for Primex Plastics. Primex is the parent company of Woodruff Corp., which was honored for the second consecutive year as a supplier of the year for Honda.

            A Richmond manufacturing facility has been honored for the second consecutive year as a “supplier of the year” for one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers.

            Woodruff Corp., 400 Industrial Parkway, was honored Tuesday by Honda of America for its work in the area of “Development & Manufacturing of Specialty Dunnage for the Delivery of OEM Supplier Parts to our Assembly Operations.”

            Honda presents an award to its top supplier in each of 11 categories annually although this year, only six such suppliers were recognized, said Mike Wallace, associate chief adviser for Honda of America. There are more than 4,500 suppliers around the country.

            “The work you have done here — especially with the delays that we had from the tsunami (in Japan) last year with rolling out our new models — was outstanding,” Wallace told employees as he represented a group of executives from Honda in Richmond to present the award and tour the facility. “It is rare, especially this year with us only giving out six awards, that we honor the same company two years in a row.”

            Woodruff Corp., a division of Primex Plastics, designs and manufactures packaging for specific parts that are shipped from the supplier to one of Honda’s manufacturing facilities, including the plant in Greensburg, Ind., and sites in Ohio.

            The specially designed containers are developed to efficiently hold a variety of parts and provide more protection than a standard crate or box to prevent damage during shipping.

            The company employs nearly 80 at its east-side location, up from approximately 65 this time last year, and is involved in approximately 50 projects for Honda in 2012.

            But Woodruff also has about 175 more customers, some big and some small, for which they produce packaging, and the honor is likely to draw more.

            “(The award from Honda) is significant for us in terms of growing Woodruff’s business,” said Primex vice president of operations Gus Finet. “This showcases our design and production for one manufacturer, and if you take the products we make for Honda, there are other businesses that need packaging that is very similar for their parts. Honda’s recognition allows us to secure more business.”



            Honda confirms 2013 Civic updates, mum on specifics

            As we've expected for a few months, Honda will update its Civic for 2013, just one model year after redesigning the popular compact. It's a response to criticisms, including ours, over the car's lackluster handling and cheap interior, though we still recommend the Civic for its roomy cabin and comfortable seats.

            The criticism fell on receptive ears. John Mendel, head of American Honda, acknowledged the missteps in the Civic's quality late last year. Honda says the Civic now has "interior and exterior refinements" for 2013.

            What exactly are they? The automaker remains mum.

            "This is the only info we are going to release," company spokesman Chuck Schifsky said in an email. "Our plan is to hold a media briefing regarding the changes to the Civic for the '13 model year close to the on-sale date late this fall."

            The Civic's downfalls have done little to stop sales, which are up 23 percent through May with slight dealer incentives. Naturally, we'll detail what's changed once Honda releases more info.



            Honda, labour union look for truce over suspended workers

            The tussle over reinstatement of two suspended workers of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) may soon come to an end as the management and workers’ union softened their stance in the third round of negotiations at the office of the labour department here on Monday. The workers —
            Jaibir Yadav, who is an executive member of the workers' union, and Naresh Yadav — had to file replies to a showcause notice issued by the company on August 9 within 48 hours.

            The notices, sent through post, were not delivered to their addresses after which the workers were called to the plant and handed over the letters on Monday.

            The management will take a final call after studying their replies.

            The two were suspended on August 6 after they had an altercation with a production manager over the issue of overtime duty and leave.

            Sources said during the latest talks both parties have agreed to accommodate as much as possible for an early resolution to the problem which was leading to tension in the auto-maker's Manesar plant.

            “We are hopeful that the matter will be resolved soon after the workers submit their replies to the notices. We are willing to commit that such incidents of brawl would be avoided to the best extent possible by the workers in future,” Ashok Yadav, president of the HMSI employees' union told HT after coming out of the meeting.

            Two previous rounds of talks had failed as the labour union alleged that the company was sending unauthorised officials.

            The Honda management and union began simultaneous talks over wage hikes on Monday.

            Yadav said the union would also demand better medical and conveyance facilities.

            The next meeting to discuss salary hike will be held this Friday.

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            • http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2012/08...ly-record.html

              Honda Posts Record All-Time July Record for Worldwide Production

              Japan's third biggest carmaker Honda announced today that it set a new all-time record for worldwide production in July with 345,180 cars, up 67 percent from the same month last year.

              From the beginning of 2012, Honda has produced 2,507,995 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 66.2 percent over 2011. Keep in mind though that last year's numbers were negatively affected by the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

              Honda noted that total exports from Japan in July 2012 experienced a year-on-year decrease for the first time in seven months.

              The company's automobile sales in the Japanese market for the month of July experienced a year-on-year increase for the seventh consecutive month (since January 2012) to 76,606 units, up 67.6 percent.

              The firm's best sellers in Japan for the month of July were the Fit (Jazz) with 24,157 units, the new N BOX with 21,837 deliveries, the Freed with sales of 9,905 units and the Step WGN with 7,950 units.

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              • http://www.firstpost.com/business/he...me-436844.html

                Hero’s lesson: there’s lots in the ‘Honda’ name

                New Delhi: This may come as a surprise to you but Hero MotoCorp’s sales have been suffering because it dropped the Honda tag from its motorcycles after it split with the Japanese partner of 26 years. For many people in smaller towns and villages, a Hero Splendour still means ‘Honda ki Gadi’ and they have not taken too kindly to the Honda name being removed.

                Ashish Nigam and Kunal Jhaveri of Antique Stockbroking said in a note to clients this morning, quoting unnamed Hero dealers, that after the company has dropped the ‘Honda’ tag from the Splendor Pro and Splendor Plus motorcycles, conversions (which means number of people who enquire after the bike actually buying it) have been impacted by 5-10 percent. These two models account for about 35 percent of Hero’s total volumes and therefore the negative impact created by the removal of the Honda tag does not bode well for Hero.


                “This trend is restricted to these two models as they are the only ones where the parent-brand name (Hero Honda, now Hero) is written on the fuel-tank (in a bigger font) and the sub-brand name (Splendor Pro/Plus) is written below the seat (in a smaller font).

                Perhaps, the company has tried to leverage on the popularity of the Splendor brand to strengthen the parent Hero brand…,” the analysts said in a note to clients.

                After the Honda tag was removed, some buyers have come forward saying they are willing to pay Rs 2,000 premium for the old Splendour (which came with the Honda name)! Obviously, Honda’s quality assurance still carries weight.

                Hero accounts for 45 percent share of the domestic market so by its sheer size it presents a formidable competition to partner-turned-competitor Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India. And for the next 2-3 years, Hero’s dominance in motorcycles may remain unchallenged as Honda gears up to attain scale. But even then, the branding issues with Splendour need to be sorted out.

                Jatin Chawla and Akshay Saxena at Credit Suisse said “We continue to believe that Hero will not lose significant market share in motorcycles to Honda over the next 2-3 years as Honda would need time to establish a new brand in the Indian market.”

                But Hero is already facing headwinds, and not necessarily only from HMSI. The company has been dispatching bikes far more than actual retail sales, leading to double the normal inventories at dealers’ end right now.

                Yogesh Aggarwal and Karthik Subramaniam at HSBC Global Research said earlier this week that their interactions with Hero MotoCorp dealers confirm a continued slowdown in motorcycle demand.

                “Retail sales for Hero have further slowed down in certain demand markets, leading to sustained high inventory levels in the range of 30-40 days (on average),” they said.

                Nigam and Jhaveri of Antique have estimated inventory levels “remain alarmingly high at about 6 weeks against normal levels of 3.5 weeks and hence we expect August/September dispatches to decline by 6 percent and 4 percent year on year at 4.75 lakh and 5.25 lakh units respectively. We lower our FY13 volume growth assumption to 6 percent (from 8 percent previously), but still see downside risk to our estimates.”

                This surely indicates that at least on some Hero bikes, you could demand a discount from dealers between now and the commencement of the festival season.

                Another reason for Hero to begin worrying is long-time foe Bajaj Auto’s export vision—an area where Hero is still struggling to establish itself. Chawal and Saxena of Credit Suisse have estimated that Bajaj’s export growth could log CAGR of 20% for the next five years as it strengthens in existing geographies and looks for new markets to take on Chinese competition there.

                Hero’s export turnover accounted for barely 2.3 percent of its FY11 net sales against 28.4 percent for Bajaj Auto. Hero has also begun focusing on exports—it has already announced commencement of exports to new markets in Central America and Nigeria in this quarter. All exports to new international markets will be under the “Hero” brand name.

                So from clearing out piling inventories, to assuring customers of Splendour on why Hero remains a strong brand and going international—Hero’s tasks to remain competitive are cut out.



                Honda launches CNG powered City in Thailand

                Japanese automaker Honda has launched a dual fuel version of the City in Thailand. The car has undergone changes to support the CNG option and these include an electronic safety box and a solid cross bar in the boot for enhanced stability.

                As per pictures on Honda Thailand’s website, the car also gets a 65 litre round tank so as not eat up into boot space. Honda has also ensured that the inlet for CNG and petrol are in the same place so as to make fueling up an easier process. Powered by a dual fuel 1.5-litre engine, the car is being manufactured at Honda’s Ayutthaya plant and will meet Euro 4 norms. It is also expected to have a three year warranty.

                As CarWale had reported earlier, Honda was considering introducing the CNG City variant in India and it is expected that this is the model that will be launched during the festival season. Honda’s fortunes in India took a rapid nosedive after the deregulation of petrol prices over the last one year and its lack of diesel models in its range. It is expected that the CNG variant will cost Rs 50,000 to 60,000 more than the petrol powered City.



                Honda Can Fatten Margins With More North American Production

                As part of its measures to address margin erosion caused by a strong Yen, Honda Motors ( HMC ) is increasing its production capacity in North America to reduce its dependence on the Japanese exports. Currently, 85% of Honda's cars sold in North America are manufactured in the region. However, the automaker is expanding the capacity of its plants in the U.S. and Canada while building a new plant in Mexico. With this move, almost 96% of the total cars sold in the region would be made within North America once the plant in Mexico becomes functional in 2015.

                Made in America

                Since a significant portion of Honda's cars are produced in Japan, a strong Yen is hurting the margins of its Japanese exports to North America. Currently, the U.S. Dollar will fetch you around 79 yen. Four years ago, the U.S. Dollar would have got you 110 yen. This means that Japanese exports have to either survive on thin margins or be priced higher, thereby losing their competitive edge. Another aspect that could work in favor of Honda is that there has been a rise in preference for things made in America (especially with the precarious economy and unemployment, so a product manufactured in the U.S. won't hurt). If Honda uses this fact carefully as part of its marketing, it might just be able to sell those few extra vehicles.

                Margins Already Improving

                Honda's margins were hurt badly in 2011 as natural disasters caused production and supply chain constraints, leading to reduced sales. On the brighter side, Honda has rebounded strongly this year with vehicle sales in the U.S. up 19% in the first seven months of the year.

                Honda hopes to accelerate the growth momentum with the launch of Accord 2013 in September. The midsize sedan segment in the U.S. is highly competitive with the likes of Camry, Accord, Altima, Fusion, Malibu and Sonata in the offering. Accord currently trails Camry in this segment but, with the new Accord expected to be 15% more fuel efficient, we could witness a role reversal.



                Honda Announces Pricing, Revisions for 2013 CR-V, Odyssey, and Pilot

                Admittedly, there aren’t any drastic departures in store for the 2013 Honda CR-V, 2013 Honda Odyssey, and 2013 Honda Pilot – but there are a few small revisions in both content and pricing.

                2013 Honda CR-V
                As Honda’s compact crossover was completely redesigned for the 2012 model year, we’re not too surprised to learn the 2013 model doesn’t change all that much. In fact, its price tag only creeps up by $200 across the board.

                The base 2013 Honda CR-V LX starts at $23,525, including $830 in destination fees. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rear-view camera, and remote keyless entry. The 2013 CR-V LX, which starts at $25,625, adds a six-speaker audio system, tinted windows, a security system, a power moonroof, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The top-tier 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L starts at $28,075, and adds leather seating, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and automatic dual-zone climate control. EX-L models are also available with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system for another $700, or an optional navigation system for an extra $1500.

                As was the case last year, each 2013 Honda CR-V model is available with all-wheel drive. Regardless of trim level, moving from front- to all-wheel drive adds another $1500 to the purchase price.

                2013 Honda Odyssey
                Honda’s people-mover was completely overhauled for the 2011 model year, but the 2013 Odyssey only receives a few slight revisions, and a model-wide $200 price bump.

                The base LX model now shares its center stack with the higher-trim Odyssey EX, and subsequently receives the 8-inch display screen, rear-view camera, Bluetooth phone/ audio connectivity, USB audio input, and Honda’s CD Library function (which provides 2-gigabytes of internal memory for ripping CDs to MP3 files) as standard equipment. The 2013 Odyssey LX now starts at $29,405, including destination.

                The 2013 Odyssey EX runs another $3150 over the LX, and adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, HomeLink, integrated second-row window sunshades, a removable center console, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Odyssey EX-L models, which start at $35,955, add leather seating surfaces, a power tailgate, a power front passenger seat, heated front seating surfaces, a power moonroof, XM satellite radio, and a cooled storage compartment in the instrument panel. EX-L models can be bundled with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system for another $1600, or a satellite navigation system for an extra $2000.

                As always, the 2013 Odyssey Touring – which starts at $42,260 — adds a long list of standard features, including a six-speed automatic in place of the five-speed automatic used on the LX, EX, and EX-L trims.2013 Odyssey Touring models receive fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment systems, sunshades for second and third row passengers, and a one-motion, flat-folding 60/40 split third-row seat. The 2013 Odyssey Touring Elite model adds another $2495 to the Touring’s price tag, and includes HID headlamps, a blind-spot detection system, a widescreen rear DVD entertainment system, and a 650-watt surround-sound system.

                2013 Honda Pilot
                Honda’s largest crossover hasn’t been completely overhauled , but the 2013 Pilot does gain a few new standard features across the board, including Bluetooth connectivity, a USB audio input, a high-res information screen, automatic climate controls, and a rear-view camera.

                The amended 2013 Pilot LX model now starts at $30,250, which is roughly $800 more than a comparable 2012 model. The 2013 Pilot EX, which carries a MSRP of $32,500, adds a tri-zone climate control system, XM satellite radio, a 10-way power driver’s seat, body-color mirrors and door handles, aluminum wheels, fog lamps, and Honda’s CD Library feature.

                The EX-L, which goes a step further and includes a power moonroof, leather seating surfaces, and a power tailgate, starts at $35,750. EX-L models are also available with a navigation system and a rear-seat DVD system, which adds $1600 and $2000 respectively, to the price tag. The top-tier 2013 Pilot Touring model, which starts at $39,570, adds both those options to its long list of standard features, along with heated exterior mirrors, integrated second-row window sunshades, and a 650-watt, 10-speaker audio system.

                All-wheel-drive remains available on all 2013 Pilot trim levels, and adds $1600 to the vehicle’s MSRP.

                Source: Honda
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                • http://www.hondainthenews.com/cr-z-c...-design-award/

                  CR-Z Captures Another International Design Award

                  The Honda CR-Z sport hybrid recently garnered another significant honor for its breakthrough combination of fuel efficiency, style and dynamic performance: A top prize in the Australian International Design Awards. Backed by an endorsement from the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, the Australian International Design Awards represent one of the longest-running recognition programs of its kind, with roots that go back more than half a century.

                  The high-efficiency Honda earned its 2012 Design Award in the Automotive and Transport category, where judges singled out benefits like:

                  A futuristic design with superior aerodynamics, exceptional visibility and “a curvaceous and deeply sculpted exterior”
                  A three-mode drive system with NORMAL, SPORT and ECON driving modes
                  The first hybrid powertrain in the world to showcase a six-speed manual transmission
                  Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup and effective eco-coaching system
                  Impressive safety protection, including Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure

                  And remember, the CR-Z provides all this along with EPA ratings of up to 35 mpg city/39 mpg highway/37 mpg combined.

                  “The Australian International Design Awards are a respected and prestigious award within the design industry. It is a great honor to receive an award of this caliber for the CR-Z,” said Lindsay Smalley of Honda Australia. “The CR-Z is truly in a class of its own, with styling that turns heads, advanced fuel efficiency and a drive that is fun, exciting and engaging. We are very proud to add another important and prominent award to our trophy cabinet.”



                  Honda completes rebirth

                  Isuzu lost its position to Honda as the second-largest automobile distributor in the domestic market, while Toyota remains the market leader.

                  Once the pickup truck leader for more than two decades, Isuzu also lost king of the mountain status in this segment to Toyota after sales of its Hilux Vigo multipurpose vehicles accelerated.

                  Isuzu had kept its position as No.2 in the Thai market since Toyota launched multipurpose vehicles in 2004 despite pickup trucks being the only automobile in Isuzu's portfolio.

                  Honda sells only passenger cars and has rebounded strongly after massive floods late last year overwhelmed its two plants in Ayutthaya, destroying most of the equipment and machines with over 1,000 cars inundated.

                  After four months of rebuilding its plants, Honda resumed auto production in late March and sold only 1,806 cars, mainly imports from Japan, commanding only a 1.6% market share.

                  Honda lagged behind Isuzu in May with 15,601 cars sold for a 13.5% market share, while Isuzu sold 16,866 pickup trucks for a 14.5% market share.

                  Honda sold 17,548 and 20,508 cars in June and July, respectively, while Isuzu sold 17,276 and 16,700 pickup trucks over the same two months.

                  An industry source said Honda's gains were due partly to the government's tax rebate of up to 100,000 baht for its first-time car buyer programme, which doesn't include pickup trucks.

                  The car market in July jumped to a new high of 99.6% year-on-year to 64,430 units, while the pickup truck market gained 68.1% year-on-year to 58,868 units.

                  Total automobile sales in July soared 80.6% year-on-year to 131,636 units, with Toyota still the market leader at 48,460 units, a 36.8% share.



                  Guangzhou Auto, A China Partner Of Honda And Toyota, Says 1st-Half Profit Fell 15%

                  Net profit during the first six months of the year at Guangzhou Automobile Group, a manufacturing partner of Honda and Toyota in China, fell 15% to 1.48 billion yuan, or $231 million, amid easing growth in auto sales in the country.

                  Revenue increased 5.7% to 5.5 billion yuan, in part on the launch of new models, the company said in a statement.

                  Growth in auto sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, has slowed this year amid easing GDP gains and reported restrictions on auto registrations in some cities. ZhengTong Auto Services, a China distributor for Jaguar, BMW, Cadillac, Lamborghini, said yesterday the supply of autos exceeded demand in the first half. (See related story here.) Pushing ahead with expansion, top executives from Ford were in China this week to break ground on a new plant. (See story here.)

                  Government-controlled Guangzhou Auto is about 2.4% owned by Chinese entrepreneur Lu Guanqiu’s Wanxiang Group. Wanxiang made waves in the U.S. this month with a preliminary agreement purchase battery maker A123. (See related story here.)

                  Among auto companies reporting lower profits, Warren Buffett-backed Chinese automaker BYD said last night net profit in the first half of the year tanked by 94%. (See related story here.

                  Guangzhou Auto’s shares trade in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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                  • http://www.gaadi.com/blog/honda-sales-for-august-2012

                    Honda sales for August 2012

                    19433 units during the same period last year. The total sales has reached Honda to increase sales by 54% during the period mentioned above. The company is a leading manufacturing of premium cars in India has sold 5470 units in the month of August 2012 as against 6907 units during the same time last year.

                    Honda Siel Cars India – Brio

                    Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. VP- Sales and Marketing, Honda Siel Cars India, stated “The macroeconomic indicators are not very encouraging and the general inflationary trends have led to low consumer sentiments affecting the demand of cars. We are hopeful of returning to good growth numbers during the festival season.”

                    Honda has managed to sell 2335 units of Brio, 465 units of Jazz, 2536 units of City, 53 units of Civic, 34 units of Accord and 47 units of CR-V.

                    About Honda Siel Cars India Ltd

                    Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., (HSCI) leading manufacturer of passenger cars in India was established in December 1995 to provide Honda’s latest passenger car models and technologies, to the Indian customers.

                    HSCI’s has two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Greater Noida, U.P and Tapukara, Rajasthan.

                    The company’s product range includes Brio, Jazz, City, Civic and Accord which are produced at the Greater Noida facility. The Honda CR-V is imported from Japan as Completely Built Units. Honda’s models are strongly associated with advanced design and technology, apart from its established qualities of durability, reliability and fuel-efficiency.

                    The company has a strong sales and distribution network with 137 facilities in 85 cities spread across the country.



                    Honda plans to form joint venture in Bangladesh: official

                    The Japanese Honda Motor Co. plans to form a joint venture (JV) company in Bangladesh to assemble motorcycles, as production cost had increased in other countries, said a senior official of the industries ministry yesterday.

                    Within five years of operation here, the company would go for full-scale motorbike manufacturing, said ABM Khorshed Alam, an additional secretary of the industries ministry.

                    Honda would form the JV plant with the state-owned Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC) soon, he said.

                    “On Wednesday, after vetting from the law ministry, I sent the summary of the deal for forming the joint venture company to the Prime Minister's Office for approval,” said Alam.

                    After the go-ahead from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the initial 70-crore taka joint venture company will soon start operation at a rented abandoned garment factory at Maona in Gazipur. The company will increase investment after two years of operation (one crore equals 10 million).

                    Alam said the chief of Honda Motor would visit Bangladesh within 15 days of the approval for finalising the JV plant.

                    “We are trying to purchase a suitable piece of land for setting up the permanent plant,” he added.

                    Of the total investment, BSEC will own 30 percent stake, while Honda will own 70 percent in the project, he informed.

                    The Japanese company was looking for a local partner over the last few years, but they were not convinced with the private sector. In 2009, they had proposed to the government for setting up a JV, he said.

                    He said the company was coming to Bangladesh as the demand for motorcycles in the country was increasing.

                    Generally, Honda sets up a plant in a country where 50,000 motorcycles are sold annually. But, in Bangladesh the annual sale of motorcycle is more than two lakh, he added.

                    The local light engineering sector would be immensely benefited if the company is set up. Some other motorcycle companies were also contacting the industries ministry for setting up their plants, the official added.

                    “I know Honda is negotiating with a state-owned company for setting up a joint venture plant,” said a senior official of the Japan External Trade Organisation in Dhaka asking not to be named.

                    Rashed Ahmad Ali, president of Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Honda was coming to Bangladesh for the government's “China + one policy” (a policy adopted by the Japanese government to reduce dependency on China).

                    “The cost of production in China has gone high. That is one of the major reasons for shifting the production base to other countries,” he added.

                    “The motorcycles will be built for the local market and with the components shipped from India and Pakistan,” reports Reuters news agency.

                    After selling 26 percent stake in the JV Hero-Honda Company at a cost of US$2 billion, Honda set up two manufacturing plants in India and the company is currently operating two other manufacturing plants in Pakistan as well, said media reports.



                    Honda Siel Cars India 21% sales decline in August 2012

                    The period April to August 2012 has resulted in a 54% increase in sales for Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI). This is noteworthy at a time when auto industry is reeling under deplorable economic conditions in the country, rising fuel prices and escalating interest rates. Despite these factors HSCI sales during this period stood at 29,932 units while the figure during the same period in the previous year was at just 19,433 units. Following these sales the company now looks ahead at upcoming festive season to add to their sales targets for rest of this year.

                    Taking only month of August 2012 into account, HSCI sold 5,470 units as against 6,907 units in August 2011, which equates to 21% sales decline for the month. Model wise sales break-up is Brio 2335 units, Jazz 465 units, City 2536 units, Civic 53 units, Accord 34 units and CR-V 47 units. The feel good Brio is the chosen hatchback for the ongoing third edition of "Drive to Discover", a relay drive from 22 August 2012 to 12 September 2012.

                    HSCI are leading manufacturers of passenger cars in India. The company was established in 1995 and manufactures their vehicles from two plants one in Greater Noida, UP and the other in Tapukara, Rajasthan. While Brio, Jazz, City, Civic and Accord are produced at the former, Honda CR-V is imported from Japan as a CBU and is sold through their 137 strong dealer network spread aross 85 cities in India.

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                    • http://www.autotalk.com/new-accord-m...cturing-16705/

                      New Accord Marks 30 Years Of Honda’s US Manufacturing

                      On November 1, 1982 Honda became the first Japanese automaker in the US when it began production of the second generation Accord at its Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. The plant is still making the Accord and has just begun production on the all-new 2013 model that will be hitting showroom floors soon. Over the past 30 years the boys and girls in Ohio have manage to crank our more than nine-million Accords.

                      The newest Accord features an all-new design and tons of new technology, as well as the new Earth Dreams powertrain, that began production in Ohio earlier. The Earth Dreams engines and transmissions have been designed to dramatically improve fuel economy while maintaining the fun-to-drive nature that Hondas are known for. The 2013 Accord is the first US model to receive the new engines and transmission, but they should be populating out to other models later.

                      “This new Accord will be very fun to drive, will offer great fuel economy, and will feature a comfortable cabin with a very quiet ride,” said Jeff Tomko, plant manager. “Our team at the Marysville Auto Plant is ready to build it, and we are committed to manufacturing it with the best quality and reliability in the business.”



                      Honda Previews Russian, and Possibly European Market 2013 Accord Sedan, Confirms Acura Launch

                      These two sketches, allegedly previewing the Russian market 2013 Accord sedan, were said to be released by Honda's local division on the sidelines of the ongoing Moscow International Motor Salon 2012.

                      There are a couple of things about these renderings that immediately caught our attention, the first being the car shown here is essentially identical to the North American 2013 Honda Accord sedan revealed in the beginning of August and the second that it is wearing German license plates.

                      If true, this suggests Honda may offer the same version of the new Accord on both sides of the Atlantic – though each with its own engine lineup.

                      We will remind you that the current version of the European Accord is the same car as the North American Acura TSX offered with a different set of engines including a diesel option.

                      Talking about Acura, Honda's Russian arm announced that its premium brand will enter the local market in 2014 offering a comprehensive range of sedan and crossover models as well as the next NSX supercar starting from 2015 (which would partially explain why the Russian market Accord is the same as the North American model).

                      We'll try to find more details about the European and Russian market Accord sedan and update you accordingly.

                      Story References: Honda Russia via es.Autoblog



                      Honda China August sales up 15% from year earlier

                      SHANGHAI--Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it sold 57,003 vehicles in China through its two joint ventures in August, up 15% from its tally in the same month last year.

                      Its joint venture with China's Dongfeng Motor Group Co. sold 26,958 cars in August, up 20% from a year earlier, while sales at its joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (2238.HK) rose 11% to 30,045 units.

                      In the January-August period, Honda sold 436,061 cars in China, up 17% from a year earlier.



                      Honda tops the list of customer satisfaction in India

                      Honda, the Japanese multinational auto maker, has topped the list of 12 automotive brands in customer satisfaction with the New-Vehicle Sales Experience in the country, according to a study by J. D. Power and Associates.

                      According to J.D. Power Asia Pacific Reports, Honda leads the list with 835 points out of a possible 850 points and is followed closely by Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki with points 829 and 824 respectively. Toyota and Skoda were handed fourth and fifth places respectively at 823 and 821 points. Mahindra surprisingly rounded off the top six positions with 820 points following a 17 point surge from last year ratings and is the most improved brand among the listed 12.

                      Mohit Arora, Executive Director, J.D. Power Asia Pacific, Singapore said that Mahindra customers were most pleased with the company's improved initiatives towards ensuring quick deliveries and overall customer satisfaction. He added that the enhanced focus on increasing delivery time by the company has helped it to provide an excellent buying experience for its customers.

                      J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 India Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM also pointed out that the average amount of monthly income suitable to buy a small car in India has not changed in the last five years, with the number of months still standing at ten months. Arora further added that Indian auto makers have been labouring to provide best customer services which has rendered the public with plenty of options to choose from.

                      The study also revealed that ever growing petrol prices has steered the public sentiments towards diesel fuelled vehicles with about 43 per cent customers opting for diesel instead of petrol. The shift has witnessed a 11 per cent increase since 2011.

                      As per the study, industry average was recorded at 820 points. The seventh to twelfth positions were captured by Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Nissan, Fiat, Ford and Tata Motors. Tata Motors was awarded the lowest position with 800 points.

                      J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company which conducts surveys of customer satisfaction, quality assurance and consumer behaviour for various industries including automobile, marketing and advertising firms among others. The company has established itself as a benchmark in customer satisfaction, study on new-car and long-term certainty.



                      After Maruti Suzuki, labour unrest grows at Honda Manesar plant

                      As Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) struggles to normalise operations at the Manesar plant, Honda Motorcyle and Scooter India (HMSI) is facing a tough time with its labour union, which has put forward a long list of demands warning that workers could declare strike if their demands are not met. According to the sources, the union has demanded for doubling basic salary of contract workers and absorbing them as permanent employees.

                      "The contract workers are getting 35 per cent less salary than the regular workers and do not get any other benefits. We have been demanding for an increase in the number of permanent workers and providing them better amenities," a union member with HMSI said.

                      There are total 6,000 workers at HMSI, out of which only 1,800 are permanent.

                      Apart from these demands, the workers want an increase in housing allowance or provision for houses.

                      According to the union, the demands are reasonable given the good revenues of the company. "The company is ready to sack a contract worker whenever there is a slowdown. However, they are not ready to share their profit. What we are asking for is reasonable given the current rate of inflation and the company's rising sales," a union member said.

                      The union was already supporting their fellow workers at the Manesar plant and extended their backing when they went on strike. "Those who are saying we are troublemakers must come and see our living conditions. We do not have proper houses that lack sanitation. In fact, this is the common complaint in the whole belt, including that of the Manesar labour union," the HMSI union added.

                      When contacted, the company management said that they have received the list of demands from the workers and they are already being reviewed. However, they did not share any details about the demands. Trouble has been brewing between the union and the company for quite some time. Last month, one worker was suspended due to his alleged misbehavior with one of the supervisors but the suspension was revoked after the intervention of the union.

                      Even the labour union at the Manesar plant had demanded permanency for contract workers. According to the MSIL union, the tension increased between the management and the union only after the demand of regularising contract workers was not met.

                      It was this tension, which turned violent on July 18, resulting in death of one of the human resources manager, which forced the company to declare lockout at the plant for 33 days.

                      Therefore, MSIL announced to do away with the contract workers at its Manesar plant. MSIL chairman R.C. Bhargava had said the company would directly recruit workers and they would be paid wages and other benefits similar to those on the permanent rolls of the company. The process of regularisation will be completed by the first week of September.

                      Courtesy: Mail Today



                      Honda reorganizing in India

                      Looking to refocus its operations on its more successful products in India, Honda’s joint venture in the continuously-growing car market is planning to trim its lineup.
                      While sales in India have leveled off in general this year, Honda is outpacing the industry thanks to its new Brio subcompact, a small four-cylinder five-door hatchback sold only in India and a few Southeast Asian markets.
                      But Honda’s other products, including the full-size Accord sedan, haven’t been keeping pace, which means that they might get the axe, according to a report in Japan’s Nikkei business daily. In addition, the paper reports that the Japanese automaker is looking at postponing the introduction of its latest Civic sedan, which went on sale in most markets last year.
                      Honda markets its cars in India with a local partner under the Honda Siel Cars India banner. The automaker lists six products on its website, although three are previous versions of vehicles sold in North America.
                      Honda’s sales tumbled 20 percent last year before the Brio was introduced. At the time, Honda lacked a car specifically designed for Indian buyers. Instead, its lineup consisted of a hodge-podge of global products, including the North American-market Accord (rather than the smaller European Accord sold in North America as the Acura TSX), emerging market-only City subcompact sedan and the CR-V crossover.
                      Last edited by tokyodream; 04-09-12, 12:01.
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                      • http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012...es_rise_1.html

                        Alabama-made auto sales rise 14 percent in August

                        U.S. sales of vehicles built in Alabama rose 14 percent in August, led by strong growth for the Honda Odyssey minivan and the Hyundai Elantra compact.

                        Last month's combined sales of the eight models assembled in the state totaled 65,671, compared to 57,629 in August 2011, according to automaker reports issued today.

                        Sales of the Odyssey were 12,750, up 61 percent from a year ago, while sales of the Elantra increased 19.5 percent to 17,989.

                        Here's a look at how the products of each individual plant fared in August:

                        Honda: Besides the Odyssey, the Japanese automaker also builds the Pilot SUV and the Ridgeline pickup at its Talladega County factory.

                        Sales of the Pilot grew 8 percent to 10,610, while sales of the Ridgeline, a niche model, surged 329.4 percent to 919.

                        Honda's overall sales totaled 131,321 vehicles, up 59.5 percent from a year ago.

                        Hyundai: Along with the Elantra, the Korean company produces the Sonata sedan in Montgomery.

                        Sonata sales fell 5 percent this month as Hyundai sold 19,624 of the sedans. Officials with the automaker have cited tight inventory levels and said the new third shift at the Alabama factory, which kicks off today, should help address the issue.

                        Across its model lines, Hyundai sold 61,099 vehicles in the U.S. last month, a 4.4 percent improvement from August 2011.

                        Mercedes-Benz: Of the three models built at the German automaker's Tuscaloosa County plant, only the M-Class SUV showed an improvement in August.

                        Mercedes said it sold 2,243 M-Class vehicles last month, up 2.4 percent from a year ago.

                        Meanwhile, sales of the GL-Class full-sized SUV dropped 12 percent to 1,522, while sales of the R-Class crossover fell 53 percent to 14. Mercedes is discontinuing R-Class sales in the U.S., but the Alabama factory will continue to build it for foreign markets.

                        A total of 20,557 Mercedes-brand vehicles were sold in the U.S. last month, up 11 percent from August 2011.



                        Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2012

                        New-car sales in August continued a trend that dates to May: massive gains for Toyota and Honda relative to an earthquake-stymied 2011, with solid — albeit smaller — gains among other major automakers. Both Japanese automakers led the march toward higher auto sales as the industry's seven biggest automakers gained 20.4% in August sales. By day's end, we could see the best annualized sales rate since spring as higher incentives and more credit availability sent shoppers to showrooms. It comes despite rising transaction prices, which are up $2,338 or nearly 8% on the average car versus August 2011, according to CNW Marketing Research.

                        The highest gains among big sellers came from the Honda Accord and Civic, whose combined sales nearly doubled, even though a new Accord is just around the corner and the redesigned Civic received lukewarm reviews. Toyota Corolla and Matrix sales increased nearly 50%, and Japan's three biggest automakers gained 37.9% in August sales. That's more than three times the percentage gain for their Detroit Three rivals.
                        But Detroit had its own winners, including the new Ford Escape and popular Chevrolet Cruze. That's good news for GM: The Cruze had a bad July, leaving dealers with a 91-day supply of the compact sedan to start August — 37 days more than the industry average. GM continues to sell the car with few incentives, which could bolster resale values for Cruze owners down the road.

                        GM sales increased 10.1%, but Chevrolet Malibu sales fell 18.8%, leaving it off the top sellers list for the second month in a row. The redesigned 2013 Malibu should help, GM says, as it replaces "depleted stocks" of 2012s. Ford, meanwhile, jumped 12.6% on strong demand for the F-Series pickup and the automaker's crossovers, as well as the Focus and Fusion cars. F-Series sales gained nearly 20% on slight incentive gains, and that’s before a refreshed 2013 F-150 reached dealers en masse.

                        Pickup sales fought seesawing factors as higher gas prices battled sustained growth in the housing market, with annualized housing starts this year outpacing almost every month in 2011. The result? It's hard to say. Sales for full-size pickups gained 15.8% — good, but below industry gains for the month.

                        Here are the top 10 sellers:



                        Honda sales sizzle in August, up nearly 60 percent

                        Honda Motor Co. notched another big sales improvement in August and, after eight months, is on pace to hit its best annual sales total in four years.

                        Honda, whose U.S. manufacturing operations are based in Marysville, said Tuesday that August sales of cars and trucks increased by 59.5 percent over the previous year. Sales are more than 23 percent ahead of the disaster-plagued 2011 through the first eight months of the year.

                        “It’s clear that demand for Honda products continues to be strong, and we’re on track to post our best yearly sales results in four years,” John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, said in a release. “Honda is finishing the summer on a high note, and there’s more to come as we build momentum toward the fall launch of the all-new 2013 Accord.”

                        Sales in the company’s Honda division, which accounts for the bulk of sales, saw 115,675 vehicles roll off lots in August, up 57.9 percent from 73,267 a year ago. The Acura luxury division had a sales improvement of nearly 73 percent to 15,646, up from 9,054 in August 2011.

                        Vehicles manufactured in Honda’s Marysville and East Liberty plants have been anchors for the automaker’s sales this year. In August, the Marysville-built Honda Accord, the company’s flagship sedan and best seller, had sales of 34,848, up 89 percent from 18,439 a year ago. The Acura RDX, also assembled in Marysville, posted a 33.2 percent sales improvement to 3,201 cars sold, up from 2,404 in August 2011.

                        Honda moved 23,877 of the East Liberty-built CR-V crossover sport utility vehicles in August, up 44.1 percent from 16,572 a year ago. The East Liberty-built Acura RDX saw sales more than double to 2,926 in August, up from 1,139 last year.

                        August was a big month for automakers as pickup truck demand drove sales improvements, the Associated Press reports. Sales of Honda trucks increased by 35.3 percent last month to 50,176, up from 37,080 a year ago.



                        AUTOS: Automakers Score Strong Month
                        August sales in the U.S. show solid gains, led by Honda, Toyota, VW and the Detroit 3, with steady sales forecast for the year.

                        Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the Volkswagen brand and the Detroit 3 posted solid sales gains for August, signaling the auto industry's recovery remains on track despite sluggish U.S. economic growth and widespread consumer uncertainty.

                        The VW brand led the way with a 63 percent jump, its 12th straight month of increases of at least 25 percent.

                        Honda Motor Co. reported August U.S. sales of 131,321 units, a gain of 60 percent from 2011, when it suffered from quake-related inventory shortages. Volume at the Honda brand jumped 58 percent to 115,675 units; Acura deliveries climbed 73 percent to 15,646 units.

                        Toyota also continued its recovery from an earthquake-hampered 2011 with a 46 percent rise. Toyota division sales rose 45 percent and Lexus deliveries climbed 34 percent. At Scion, sales advanced 112 percent last month.

                        "The auto industry continued to outperform the general economy in August," Bill Fay, Toyota group vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

                        Advances at General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group ranged from 10 percent to 14 percent.

                        Chrysler and GM on Tuesday forecast the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for August will reach 14.6 million units, the highest since April 2008 and well above most analysts' estimates.
                        Chrysler's SAAR forecast includes medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

                        Chrysler sales chief Reid Bigland attributed the company's performance in part to an "incredibly resilient" climate for auto sales.

                        August sales at the VW brand surged to 41,011 as the automaker continued to benefit from redesigned models in key segments, notably small and mid-sized sedans.

                        Toyota's 46 percent increase followed advances of 60 percent in June and 87 percent in May.

                        Chrysler, helped by a 21 percent gain in car deliveries and an 18 percent increase in Ram brand volume, produced a 14 percent increase.

                        Ford Motor reported a 13 percent increase in sales last month, with retail volume up 19 percent over August 2011. Sales rose 13 percent at the Ford division and 2 percent at Lincoln. The company said it also plans to boost fourth-quarter North American output by 7 percent – or 50,000 vehicles – over 2011 levels to 725,000.

                        GM, aided by Olympics advertising and a Chevrolet promotion, said its sales rose 10 percent. GM's retail sales rose 11 percent while fleet deliveries climbed 6 percent.

                        Nissan Motor Co. said its U.S. sales for August totaled 98,515, up 8 percent from a year ago, while Subaru climbed 36 percent. Hyundai Motor Co. said it set an all-time August sales record of 61,099 units for the Hyundai brand, an increase of four percent.

                        At Jaguar Land Rover, sales jumped 31 percent last month, helped by new models such as the Range Rover Evoque.

                        "Clearly, August was a strong auto shopping month in the United States and for Jaguar Land Rover," Andy Goss, head of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in a statement.

                        Honda and Toyota are expected to be among the industry's biggest gainers as they continue to recover from inventory shortages following the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.

                        Civic sales rose 106 percent with 24,897 units sold last month, Honda said.

                        "Honda is finishing the summer on a high note," John Mendel, American Honda's executive vice president of sales, said in a statement.

                        August marked Chrysler's 29th consecutive monthly increase in U.S. sales, though the gains have slowed over the past two months from their torrid pace early this year. The automaker continues to benefit from new or refreshed models, notably a stronger passenger-car lineup, as well as generous incentives, fleet shipments and easing credit terms.

                        Chrysler said volume rose 25 percent at the Chrysler brand, 34 percent at Fiat, 13 percent at Dodge and 5 percent at Jeep. Sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan totaled 3,045 units, the automaker said.

                        The SAAR for August was forecast to accelerate to 14.2 million from 14.1 million in July and 12.5 million a year earlier, according to Bloomberg's poll of analysts.

                        Pent-up demand, consumer discounts, new models, fleet deliveries, more favorable credit and low financing rates are aiding light-vehicle sales. In some cases, automakers are also offering aggressive incentive programs that reward dealers for selling more cars and light trucks.



                        Redesigned Honda Civic Hybrid Goes The Distance

                        43.5 mpg. That was our average during a week’s test drive of the 2012 Honda Civic hybrid on city streets and highway. Now, that’s pretty impressive. And we didn’t have to sacrifice ride quality, safety or comfort in the redesigned gas/electric hybrid.

                        Available in four trims, the front-wheel-drive sedan is equipped with a 1.5-liter (up from the previous 1.3) engine (with Integrated Motor Assist) that develops 110 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 127 lbs.-feet (increase of four) of torque at 1,000 rpm. The inline-four cylinder engine is mated to an electric motor, which is powered by a lighter 20-kw lithium-ion battery (out goes the nickel-metal hydride. A seamless Continuously Variable Transmission is standard.

                        The hybrid offers a regenerative braking system for additional fuel savings. When brakes are applied, the electric power functions as a generator, converts the captured kinetic energy into useable electricity for recharging the battery. Want to eke out further fuel efficiency? Just press the ECON button. Also part of the Eco Assist system is the plant leaf graphics, which tracks driving habits.

                        Indeed, Honda has boosted gas mileage on this 2012 version over its predecessor by four in city and one on the highway. And compared to the conventional Civic sedan, the hybrid sees a 16 mpg and 5 mpg increase in city and highway respectively.

                        Base-priced at $24,200, the Civic is priced up to $26,900 if you would like leather seats and a navigation system.

                        With its cheeky styling in and out, smooth but solid ride and frugal fuel consumption, the Civic hybrid is a no-brainer. Honda’s reputation for durability and reliability only adds to the compact car’s value.

                        Test drive a Civic hybrid at Brandon Honda, located at 9209 E. Adamo Dr. in Tampa, or call 397-2360 for more information on the Civinc hybrid or any other Honda.
                        Tires: P195/65 R15 all season
                        Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
                        Length: 177.3 inches
                        Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multilink rear
                        Steering: electric-power assist
                        Weight: 2,875 lbs.
                        Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
                        Website: www.honda.com
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                        • http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...-recovery.html

                          Honda’s Revamped Accord Arrives in Boost to U.S. Sales Recovery

                          Honda Motor Co.’s 2013 Accord, the revamped version of the longest-selling U.S. midsize car, debuts this month as the company seeks to speed its sales recovery and recapture a reputation for benchmark vehicles.

                          “We think we’ve hit this one out of the park,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of U.S. sales, in an interview last month in Santa Barbara, California. “This is the decathlon champ of this category.”

                          The ninth generation of the car sold in the U.S. since 1976 has a new 2.4-liter direct-injection engine and a continuously variable transmission, a first for the Accord. Honda also says the car has more “sculpted” exterior styling, improved safety and fuel economy, faster acceleration and a quieter ride.

                          The Accord, built in Ohio since 1982, faces competition that may be the fiercest in the model’s history. The segment it once led with Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Camry is expanding on rising sales of sedans from Nissan Motor Co., General Motors Co. (GM), Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) and Volkswagen AG. (VOW) Ford Motor Co. (F) also expects high demand for a revamped Fusion sedan arriving this month.

                          That competition has cut into Accord’s share of U.S. midsize-car sales, according to Edmunds.com, an industry pricing and data company in Santa Monica, California. Accord accounted for about 11 percent of those sales in the past two years, falling from 17 percent in 2008, Edmunds said.

                          This year through August, Camry was the segment’s top seller, with 280,536 deliveries, up 37 percent from a year earlier. Accord followed with 218,665, a 35 percent gain, with Altima sales at 209,592, a 19 percent increase.
                          ‘Pivotal Model’

                          “The new Accord is a pivotal model for Honda since it not only comprises 25 percent of the brand’s sales, but it also completes the redesign cycle for its trio of core models,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds.

                          Those other two models are the Civic compact car, redesigned in early 2011, and the CR-V small sport-utility vehicle, revamped late last year. Each is the U.S. volume leader in its segment this year. Civic sales rose 38 percent to 212,483 through August, even after Consumer Reports magazine gave it an unfavorable review, and CR-V’s gained 35 percent to 191,113, the most of any SUV in the U.S.

                          “This Accord launch is an important one for us, probably the single-most in our history,” Mendel, who is based at Honda’s U.S. sales headquarters in Torrance California, told reporters last month. “It serves as a bellwether for our brand and is a contributor not only to our U.S. but our global success.”

                          Honda’s American depositary receipts fell 0.8 percent to $31.62 yesterday in New York. They are up 3.5 percent this year.
                          Six Versions

                          The 2013 Accord is available in six model grades, including a new Sport version to appeal to younger drivers. Both a plug-in and conventional hybrid version of the car will arrive next year, the Tokyo-based company said.

                          Fuel economy with the new four-cylinder engine improves to 27 miles (43 kilometers) per gallon in city driving, 36 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined, a 7 percent increase. Among competing cars, only Nissan’s 2013 Altima is better, with 31 mpg in combined fuel economy, boosted by a 38 mpg highway rating.

                          “That’s certainly an advantage Nissan can talk about,” said Alec Gutierrez, an industry analyst for Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “I could see that influencing a minimal amount of sales, since it’s not that extreme a difference.”

                          The Accord’s 103.2 cubic feet (2.9 cubic meters) of passenger space trails only Hyundai’s Sonata, at 104 cubic feet.

                          Standard equipment on all 2013 Accords includes hands-free Bluetooth phone and audio, USB/iPod integration, a rearview backup camera and an Eco Assist system to coach drivers to improve fuel economy.
                          Blind-Spot Warning

                          EX grade and higher Accords get Honda’s new LaneWatch blind-spot warning system. A rear-facing camera on the right outside mirror sends images to a dashboard screen when drivers change lanes or turn right, making it easier to see if another vehicle is in the blind spot. Other safety features available include lane-departure and collision-warning systems. EX is one step above LX, Honda’s lowest grade.

                          Pricing will be announced later and will be in line with the current models, the company said.

                          A $64 million stamping press installed last year at Honda’s Marysville, Ohio, plant can shape steel body panels for the revamped Accord with deeper contours and more detail, said Ron Lietzke, a company spokesman. The 2,300-ton “servo” press is Honda’s most advanced, stamping with more precision and speed, he said.

                          The result is body panels with creases similar to those of Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz E-Class luxury sedans.
                          Styling Difference

                          “It’s not so dramatic a difference but in terms of styling the new car is enough of a departure for people to see it’s really something new,” Gutierrez said. “They tried to differentiate a bit more than Toyota did with Camry last year.”

                          Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president of U.S. sales, said the new Accord, as well as the revamped Nissan and Ford midsize cars, should ultimately benefit the Camry.

                          “We look at it as very positive,” Fay said on a conference call yesterday. “It brings more attention to the segment, and when that happens Camry usually does very, very well. We get shopped more often.”

                          Honda’s goal is U.S. annual sales of at least 350,000 of the new Accords. That would be the car’s highest since 372,789 in 2008.

                          With the revamped Accord, the company wants to boost U.S. sales of Honda and Acura models about 27 percent this year to at least 1.46 million, Mendel said last month. That would be the company’s best in five years.

                          Accord buyers’ loyalty is particularly high, rivaling that of the Camry, which should buoy sales of the new model, Gutierrez said.

                          “Brand loyalty is so high for that car,” he said. “It looks like they’ve done a good enough job to at least keep those buyers.”



                          New Issue-American Honda sells $1.5 bln notes

                          Wed Sep 5, 2012 2:53am IST

                          Sept 4 (Reuters) - American Honda Finance Corp
                          on Tuesday sold $1.5 billion of senior medium term notes, said
                          IFR, a Thomson Reuters service.
                          BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America Merrill
                          Lynch were the joint bookrunning managers for the sale.


                          TRANCHE 1
                          AMT $1 BLN COUPON 1 PCT MATURITY 08/11/2015
                          TYPE MTN ISS PRICE 99.791 FIRST PAY 02/11/2013
                          MOODY'S A1 YIELD 1.073 PCT SETTLEMENT 09/11/2012
                          S&P A-PLUS SPREAD 77 BPS PAY FREQ SEMI-ANNUAL
                          FITCH N/A MORE THAN TREAS NON-CALLABLE N/A

                          TRANCHE 2
                          AMT $500 MLN COUPON 1.5 PCT MATURITY 09/11/2017
                          TYPE MTN ISS PRICE 99.693 FIRST PAY 03/01/2013
                          MOODY'S A1 YIELD 1.564 PCT SETTLEMENT 09/11/2012
                          S&P A-PLUS SPREAD 95 BPS PAY FREQ SEMI-ANNUAL
                          FITCH N/A MORE THAN TREAS NON-CALLABLE N/A

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                          • http://www.hinckleytimes.net/news-in...5367-31777601/

                            Honda reveals £267m UK expansion

                            Japanese car giant Honda has announced a £267 million investment programme at its UK plant, where hundreds of new jobs have been created to boost production.

                            The firm said it was the biggest single investment at its Swindon site in over a decade, supporting the introduction of a new Civic, a new CR-V model and a new 1.6 litre diesel engine.

                            Around 500 new workers have been recruited this year as part of the expansion plans, taking the total workforce to 3,500.

                            Production at the plant is forecast to double by the end of the year to 183,000 cars compared with 2011, rising to 250,000 within the next three years.

                            The Swindon factory builds cars and engines for more than 60 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia, with 60% of production going for export.

                            Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda UK, said: "This investment programme underpins Honda's commitment to manufacturing in Britain and to our UK workforce.

                            "It reaffirms the Swindon plant's position as the cornerstone of Honda's European operations, as it has been for the past 25 years."

                            Honda has invested more than £1.5 billion in the 370-acre Swindon site.

                            Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This multi-million pound investment by Honda in its 20th year of car production in the UK is great news for Swindon and the automotive sector. Having created a host of new jobs, the investment supports Government's ambition to encourage new investment and exports as a route to renewed growth and a more balanced economy."



                            Honda Accord will get second-best fuel economy

                            Honda's new 2013 Accord won't have the best fuel economy in the midsize sedan segment, but at least it's right up there.

                            Honda says the four-cylinder sedan will get 27 miles per gallon in city driving, 36 mpg on the highway for an average of 30 mpg. That's an 11% increase, but still one mile per gallon less on average than Nissan's redone Altima. But it's more than Ford's Fusion -- for the moment, since a new Fusion arrives in several weeks -- and Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata.

                            By Chris Woodyard/Drive On
                            Honda says it will find itself in a three-way tie with Altima and Camry when it comes to gas mileage in the V-6 engine. On that power plant, the new Accord will get 21 mpg in the city, 34 on the highway and an average of 25 mpg, up 4%.

                            The new Accord gets a next-generation engine, a 2.4 liter i-VTEC that achieves 185 horsepower through direct injection, friction reduction and other measures.

                            The 3.5-liter V-6 engine develops 278 horsepower and has a system that shuts off cylinders when they aren't needed for better gas mileage. It has seven horsepower more than the engine it replaces.

                            ================================================== =


                            Detailed: 36 mpg 2013 Honda Accord Sedan

                            Eschewing a traditional new car show debut, Honda has officially unveiled its 2013 Accord sedan, a new four-door that boasts a significantly smaller footprint but even more room inside as its predecessor, as well as improved fuel economy and a new continuously variable transmission.
                            Stretching about 3.5 inches shorter than the 2012 Accord, the new sedan defies a general upsizing trend in the midsize segment. Still, at 191.4 inches from head-to-toe, the Accord isn't exactly a pint-size competitor to cars like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata.
                            Inside, its passenger volume is up about 3.5 cubic feet thanks to vastly improved packaging, while cargo volume has also risen just shy of 2 cubic feet. While its look might appear to be derivative, the 2013 Accord actually appears much more different in person than its predecessor. Shorter overhangs, especially up front, contribute to its more compact dimensions. A deep character line running just below the front door handle and almost into the rear door handle helps define the sedan and reduce the appearance of heft. LED brake lights are standard on some models, while higher-spec versions include LED accent lights up front.
                            Inside, Accord again departs substantially from its predecessor, especially in terms of standard and available equipment. All models come standard with a high-resolution eight-inch display in the center console that includes a display for a similarly standard rearview camera as well as Pandora internet radio compatibility and SMS text message functionality. Upmarket models include Honda's new HondaLink infotainment interface and a second, smaller display in the center of the dashboard.
                            The Accord will offer a new blind-spot monitoring system that, uniquely, uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to transmit an image to the eight-inch screen on certain higher-specification Accords. The system can display blind spot imagery on the central screen at all times or just when the right turn signal is engaged. The system can also be turned off entirely. Notably, the 2013 Accord is the first with a single tap, three-blink turn signal stalk.

                            Improved performance

                            An all-new, direct-injected 2.4-liter "Earth Dreams" four-cylinder will power most Accords via either a six-speed manual or an all-new CVT. With dual overhead cams and Honda's i-VTEC system, the engine puts out 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 181 lb-ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm. With the CVT, the Accord is rated at 27/36 mpg (30 mpg combined), while the six-speed manual dents those figures to 24/34 mpg (28 mpg combined).
                            The four-cylinder is ULEV-2 rated, while a PZEV version will be available with the CVT in certain states.
                            An updated 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic will be optional on higher-spec Accords. Now including Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing system, the engine is rated at 278 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 252 lb-ft. of torque at 4,900 rpm. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available on the Accord sedan, although the coupe will offer a six-speed stick with the V6. With the automatic, fuel economy is rated at 21/34 mpg (25 mpg combined) thanks to variable cylinder management that cuts half of the cylinders for highway cruising.
                            A plug-in hybrid will also be available, while a standard hybrid will follow. Look for a 6.7 kwH lithium-ion battery and a 120 kW electric motor to give an EV-only range of 10-15 miles and a top speed of 62 mph. Recharging will take just four hours when a 240V outlet is used, Honda claims. The electric motor mates to a 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder and a CVT.

                            The model mix

                            Unlike Accords of yore, which were often rather sparsely equipped, the 2013 Accord offers a remarkably strong value especially on the entry level LX trim. For 2013, the Accord LX will include the aforementioned eight-inch screen and rearview camera, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control and cruise control, as well as typical midsize sedan features like a height-adjustable driver's seat, power windows and locks and keyless entry.

                            From there, a new Sport trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, fog lamps, dual exhaust (which bumps power to 189 horsepower and 182 lb-ft. of torque), paddle shifters and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
                            The mainstream EX adds to the LX the LaneWatch blind spot display system, as well as a proximity key, a moonroof, fog lamps, a power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, two additional speakers, rear seat vents and a glove box lock. LX, Sport and EX models come exclusively with the four-cylinder engine and either the CVT or the six-speed manual.
                            An EX-L trim brings with it leather seats, camera-based forward collision and lane departure warnings, a multi-angle rearview camera (as opposed to the single angle system in the other models), a non-branded premium audio system, a power passenger seat and memory for the driver's seat, as well as the option of the V6 engine. Those V6-powered EX-Ls add LED daytime running lamps and dual exhaust. Navigation is optional on the EX-L, regardless of engine.
                            Topping the range is the V6-only Touring, which adds adaptive cruise control and full LED headlamps.
                            The 2013 Accord goes on sale later this month; pricing will be released on September 10.



                            Honda breathes new life into the Accord

                            Shoji Matsui, who is quick with a laugh and joke, first cut his teeth as a Honda engineer by tackling a tough problem: designing the fuel filler door on the 1986 Honda Accord. His boss at the time was a fellow engineer named Takanobu Ito.
                            Ito always offered advice and direction with the “greatest of kindness,” says Matsui at the introduction of the entirely new 2013 Honda Accord. He then proceeds to illustrate “kindness” with motions that suggests him being taken in a headlock and repeatedly punched in the head.

                            This draws a burst of laughter from both Matsui and his audience. Perhaps because there might be just a little bit of truth here. As The Honda Way notes, founder Soichiro Honda was famously known for physically slapping insubordinate, ineffective or incompetent engineers. Honda, the founder, died of liver failure in 1991 and officially retired from the company in 1973. But in between, as the always useful Wikipedia notes, People magazine named him one of the 25 Most Intriguing People of the Year – Japan’s Henry Ford – and in 1983 Honda was appointed “supreme advisor” to the company he founded out of the rubble of post-Second World War Japan. Supreme advisor has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
                            I’m telling you this because the spirit (or ghost) of the “supreme advisor” can be felt as Honda prepares to press the reset button on what many will argue has been not just a few years lost to earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and that pesky financial crisis. fail in late 2008. No, Honda, company insiders will confess, is also at least a partial author of its own misfortunes. The company made some embarrassing product missteps that were entirely of its own doing, not least of which is the widely criticized 2012 Honda Civic. Equal venom has been directed at the Honda Insight hybrid and CR-Z sporty hybrid.
                            Now the time has come to press the “reset” button in earnest and the embodiment of that is the 2013 Honda Accord mid-size car. Matsui, the old fuel-filler-door designer himself, is this latest Accord’s chief engineer and his boss is none other than the always “kind” Ito, now president of Honda Motor Co.
                            “Once again, he very kindly told me what to do,” says Matsui, laughing and making that same headlock/punching motion. Ito’s marching orders boiled down to this: make this much more than just the best Accord ever; make it the best car in the mid-size class – no small feat, that – and make it the car that restores Honda’s somewhat-tarnished reputation for innovation, quality, fuel economy, “10-year” styling and, above all, value.
                            Dave Gardner, Honda Canada’s vice-president of sales and marketing, moves the story along just a little further. “Let’s be honest,” he says. “The last few years have been a challenge.”
                            Gardner is a master of understatement. Since 2008, Honda brand sales in Canada have basically been in free fall: sales peaked in 2008 at 151,974, then slid to 122,918 in 2009 and 107,849 in 2011. It’s a similar story at Honda’ upscale brand, Acura. Gardner is quick to say Honda is tracking for sales of about 130,000 this year in Canada. The worst, he says, is over.
                            How so? Consider the latest and ongoing results for the reinvented CR-V compact SUV. Up, up, up. Then Gardner pivots to discuss sales for the Civic, which have at least stabilized. Unless something crazy happens – earthquake, tsunami, flood, financial crisis, depression? – the Civic will be Canada’s best-selling car for a 15th straight year in 2012. That said, he concedes that some of the negatives about the Civic were “deserved” and that more improvements are coming within the year.
                            The CR-V and Civic are two legs of the three-legged stool that amounts to Honda’s business in Canada. Leg No. 3, the one causing perhaps the most wobbling at headquarters, is the Accord. Last year, Accord sales plunged a stunning 37.4 per cent in Canada from 2010 levels – to a paltry 7,818. Accord sales peaked in 2008 at a hugely healthy 22,623.
                            So from nearly 23,000 in 2008 to not even 8,000 last year. From No. 2 among all intermediate cars (behind only the Toyota Camry) to No. 7 in 2011. Hyundai sold more than twice the number of Sonatas last year. That contrasts with 2008 when Hyundai sold less than half the number of Accords. Disastrous and embarrassing.
                            Not so troubling, though, is a recent list of awards for Honda. The Honda brand has been named No. 1 among mass-market brands in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. So the quality piece of the story remains strong. And Honda’s resale values have held, based on awards from ALG and Canadian Black Book in Canada, as well as Edmonds.com and Kelley Blue Book in the United States. Honda/Acura can also boast of no less than 13 Top Safety Picks based on testing by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – the Civic, Accord and CR-V among them.
                            The Accord, however, has not been just a sales leader for Honda, but also an image-maker which lately has been trying to avoid the ditch. Honda may have sold three to four times as many Civics during the best years in Canada, but the Accord was at one time the best-selling car in the United States, and thus by extension in North America. The Accord traditionally has been an innovative car, one that holds its value, doesn’t break and comes with just enough luxury and technology to give owners a sense of being a cut above the neighbours in rival midsizers.
                            Until recently, that is. It’s fair to say Hyundai has rocked this segment with the latest Sonata, a sedan with sexy styling and a powertrain lineup that scrapped V-6 engines in favour of four-cylinders and hybrids. With direct fuel injection, turbocharging and gasoline-electric hybrid technology, Hyundai has boosted its reputation for innovation. Hyundai’s lineup is more fuel-efficient overall than Honda’s, too. And other rivals, from Ford to General Motors, from Kia to Volkswagen to Toyota, have been hammering away at Honda and the Accord, too. The body blows have hurt.
                            But the ninth-generation Accord, say both Gardner and Matsui, will trump the competition by being good – arguably great – in all the ways buyers judge mid-size cars – fuel economy, styling, durability, reliability, technology, passenger and cargo room.
                            “Few of the cars in this segment excel at a high level in all areas,” says Gardner, adding that the 2013 Accord does.
                            The takeaway message: after a quite a few years wandering in the wilderness, Honda is back as a force to be reckoned with.



                            Russian-market Honda Accord to share sheetmetal with U.S. model

                            We noticed something interesting about the design sketches of the Russian-spec 2013 Accord Honda showed off at the Moscow International Motor Show recently. Aside from the license plate getting swapped from a California tag to a German one, the renderings were identical to the early drawings of the U.S.-spec model Honda showed off during its press presentation for the 2013 Accord.

                            This is of note because Russian Honda dealers have typically supplied their buyers with Euro-spec Accord models (think Acura TSX). Honda has now confirmed our suspicions that the Russian Accord will be replaced with a version based on the U.S.-spec model. It's also worth noting that Acura is reportedly heading to Russia in 2014.

                            "We haven't announced plans for Europe," said Chris Martin with Honda public relations, "but the Ruissian model will share sheetmetal and basic design with the U.S. model."

                            Martin made it clear that there will, of course, be some market differences, but that by and large, the two models will be the same. Honda hasn't said which engine options will show up on the Russian order sheet as of yet.

                            And what of Europe? Given the German plate on these sketches and the fact that Russia is officially getting the same model as the North American market, we would wager there's a good chance that Honda will grace the EU with the same machine. Stay tuned.



                            2013 Honda Odyssey - Review

                            Minivans appear to have made it through some dark days, when they were despised by style-conscious parents about as much as their kids despised hand-me-downs from their older siblings. At the other end of the tunnel, we still can't ignore that with their easy-driving nature, comfortable seats, awesome versatility, and cavernous interior, minivans make sense--and in style, they don't have to be so oppressive.
                            Among the best of the current bunch--and really, the template for why minivans are still relevant and enjoyable--is the 2013 Honda Odyssey. Minivan designs tried to hold on to the Baby Boomer crowd for too long, which is really part of the problem, but with the current version Honda looked directly to today's parents. With Bluetooth connectivity, up-to-date infotainment and entertainment features, and lots of tech-savvy, plus top-notch safety and even a little design savvy, this Odyssey is neither frumpy nor behind the times.
                            Minivan designers face a particularly tough task--of trying to make these boxes on wheels attractive and stylish, without giving up space efficiency. And they get it right with the Odyssey in some respects. While it's quite generic from the back, it fits right in with the Honda family from the front, and from the side its profile is quite easy to pick out in a crowd. Credit the "lightning bolt" hump along the rear window; it's a cue that serves to add much-needed design flair as well as aid outward visibility, slightly.
                            What's under the hood of the 2013 Honda Odyssey probably doesn't matter much to most minivan shoppers; but even if you're in that category you can rest assured that it has what it takes to accelerate strongly, pass quickly, change lanes confidently, and even take on steep mountain roads with a full load. In short, the Odyssey performs more like a car--even a somewhat sporty one--than an SUV. Honda's 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 makes 247 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque in all Odyssey models, but while most of the lineup gets a five-speed automatic transmission, top-of-the-line Touring and Touring Elite models get a six-speed automatic. The Odyssey handles much more like a V-6 Accord, even though its looks align more closely with a Pilot.
                            What matters the most to minivan shoppers is interior space, versatility, and comfort; having ways of keeping kids soothed and occupied helps, too. And whether you're either a busy parent or an empty-nester with grandkids to haul some times, weekend project material other times you'll almost certainly find that the Odyssey delivers with the convenience you need. The Odyssey is absolutely loaded with thoughtful touches, and the second and third rows have a seating layout thatnot only meets the needs of full-size adults but also maximizes the number of positions (up to eight) for child seats and kids.
                            Overall, the Odyssey's cabin is a surprisingly quiet, refined space, with a smooth ride, and some high-tech wizardry helps serve that impression. Active noise cancellation and active engine mounts both quell any vibrations from fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, as well as excess road noise. The 2013 Honda Odyssey has a bragging right that may be enough to sway many safety-minded family shoppers: It's one of the few large vehicles to achieve top ratings from both U.S. safety agencies. It's also a standout in that it offers a a class-leading six child-seat tether locations and five LATCH locations (the official clips). And for 2013, a rearview camera system is newly standard on all Odyssey trims.
                            The Odyssey can be equipped with with some standout technology features such as a blind-spot system, auto-leveling HID headlamps, and a hard-drive-based music system. But all of those features remains the exclusive domain of top Odyssey Touring and Touring Elite models, and Honda's tendency to push some of the most desirable features to much more expensive trim levels (rather than part of packages or a la carte options) can be frustrating. For 2013, the base LX no longer skimps on Bluetooth connectivity; that's now standard equipment on all Odysseys, and base LX models now also get the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and 8-inch TFT screen, in addition to 2 gigabytes of audio storage, and a USB audio port.
                            At the very top of the lineup, Touring Elite models can add up to around $45k, but they step up to a blind-spot system, a 650-watt sound system with hard-disk storage, the ultra-wide-screen system, theater surround sound, and HID headlamps. A standout option is the new 16.2-inch wide-screen system, which provides entertainment and can even split the screen in half for two separate inputs (including HDMI), while the navigation system includes Zagat listings and live traffic info.

                            Detailed Review Sections

                            Interior / Exterior » 7
                            Performance » 7
                            Quality » 9
                            Safety » 10
                            Features » 8
                            Fuel Economy / MPG » 7

                            Last edited by tokyodream; 06-09-12, 09:48.
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                            • http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1091140

                              American Honda Reports August Sales: Total Sales Up 59.5 Percent

                              American Honda Reports August Sales: Total Sales Up 59.5 Percent; Acura Sets Monthly Light Truck Record on Record RDX Sales

                              Honda division sales up 57.9 percent, Acura sales up 72.8 percent

                              09/04/2012 - TORRANCE, Calif.

                              American Honda today reported August 2012 U.S. sales of 131,321 units, an increase of 59.5 percent compared with August 2011 (an increase of 53.6 percent based on the daily selling rate*). The Honda Division posted August 2012 sales of 115,675 units, an increase of 57.9 percent compared with August 2011. Acura's U.S. August sales of 15,646 units increased 72.8 percent compared with August 2011.


                              Honda division posts strong August sales of 131,321, best August sales in two years
                              Accord posted its second best sales month of the year at 34,848 units, up 89 percent; Civic sales up 106 percent with 24,897 units sold
                              CR-V continues sales success at 23,877 units, up more than 44 percent
                              Odyssey sales up more than 61 percent from August 2011, with 12,750 units sold in August

                              "It's clear that demand for Honda products continues to be strong, and we're on track to post our best yearly sales results in four years," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "Honda is finishing the summer on a high note, and there's more to come as we build momentum toward the fall launch of the all-new 2013 Accord."


                              RDX sets its 4th-consecutive record sales month with 2,926 units, up 156.9 percent compared to August 2011
                              MDX remains the top-selling Acura vehicle with sales of 5,549 units, up 77.5 percent from August 2011
                              The TL was Acura's best-selling sedan with sales of 3,201, up 33.2 percent

                              "Acura sales continue to show great upward momentum, led by our strong light truck lineup," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "The all-new 2013 Acura RDX is a hit with buyers thanks to its increased comfort, utility and power, along with class-leading fuel economy."

                              *The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 27 days for August 2012 and 26 days for August 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 205 days for 2012 and 204 days for 2011. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.



                              Honda Teases "Second Generation" CR-Z Hybrid Coupe in Japan

                              Longtime Carscoop reader Leopaul R. tipped us off about a teaser for a "second generation" CR-Z that appeared on Honda's Japanese website today.

                              We couldn't translate most of the words seen in the flash movie (any help from our Japanese readers would be appreciated) but the site did give a date for the presentation: September 27, 2012, which also happens to be the first press day of the Paris Motor Show, though we cannot say for sure if the two events are related.

                              There are three teaser images including one of the CR-Z's headlamps with what looks like an LED strip on the bottom (keep in mind though, this option is already offered on the European-market model), an alloy wheel design and a button with the "S+" sign.

                              That's not a lot of information to go by, but given that the CR-Z was only just launched in 2010, it's more likely to concern a new model year version with some cosmetic and perhaps mechanical updates than a true "second generation".

                              The CR-Z hasn't exactly been a hit for Honda, with reviewers and enthusiasts alike panning it for its sluggish performance.

                              In the United States, sales of the hybrid model from January through August this year reached 3,126 vehicles, down 67.6 percent from the same period in 2011.

                              Thanks to Leopaul R. for the tip!



                              Honda Is the First Car Company To Disclose All Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions

                              Honda Motor Co. Ltd. became the first car company to disclose its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which include emissions from its business operations and customer use of its products. The estimates of the company’s emissions were calculated according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Honda characterizes the Protocol as the “most widely used international accounting standards to measure GHG emissions.”The Protocol consists of three scopes of emissions categorized by different business activities. Since 2009, Honda has disclosed all Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and disclosed some of its Scope 3 emissions for the first time in June. Honda disclosed part of its Scope 3 emissions on August 27, which means it has now disclosed all its emissions according to the Protocol criteria. Here is a breakdown of each type of emissions category the three scopes deal with, and Honda’s reported emissions for each scope:
                              1. Scope 1 deals with direct emissions from operations owned or controlled by the reporting company. Honda’s Scope 1 emissions were 1.24 million tons.
                              2. Scope 2 deals with indirect emissions from the electricity generated. Honda’s Scope 2 emissions were 2.96 million tons.
                              3. Scope 3 deals with emissions from the customer use of the reporting company’s products. Honda’s Scope 3 emissions are the largest at 225.06 million tons.

                              “By calculating and disclosing global GHG emissions as a responsible company engaged in the area of mobility, Honda will continue making proactive progress with its global initiatives to reduce GHG and further extend the Honda LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) approach,” Honda said in a statement.

                              How Honda is reducing its carbon footprint

                              Honda’s North American Environmental Report 2011 details its carbon emissions reductions, which include a 3.7 percent reduction over 2010 for emissions from automobile production. Carbon emissions from powersports product production were reduced 43 percent from 2010, and emissions from power equipment production were reduced 10.6 percent from the previous fiscal year.
                              The report also details how Honda has reduced its carbon emissions, which includes:
                              • Using the carriers certified under the EPA’s SmartWay Transport program to deliver all Honda and Acura automobiles in 2011
                              • Replaced 15 of 2010 trucks in its U.S. service parts delivery fleet with SmartWay Transport-certified trucks
                              • Used Route Tracker technology to reduce carbon emissions from U.S. parts shipments by 813 metric tons
                              • Reduced carbon emissions from service parts shipments in the U.S. by 2,400 metric tons through improved cube efficiency
                              • Installed energy-efficient computer servers at its U.S. headquarters

                              About 86 percent of Honda’s carbon emissions “come from the product in-use stage,” according to Honda’s calculations using its Life Cycle Assessment Data System. Reducing carbon emissions from its products during their use by its customers is the “most important way” for the company to respond to climate change, the report states.



                              2012 Honda Fit Sport review

                              The good: The 2012 Honda Fit Sport is an eager and responsive hatchback that delivers driving grins. The flexible second-row Magic Seat folds flat to accomodate long items and flips up for tall ones.
                              The bad: The Fit's cabin tech offerings, while checking the right boxes, are terribly outdated compared with those of competing models.
                              The bottom line: The 2012 Honda Fit Sport shows the model has aged gracefully, providing handling and performance among the best in its class. The same can't be said for its outdated cabin tech options.

                              Not much has changed in the Honda Fit since its North American debut in 2006. Sure, it got a styling upgrade and a slight bump in interior volume in 2008, but all along it's been the same little compact powered by the same 1.5-liter engine. But is that a bad thing? In a time where the 2012 Civic is larger than a '90s vintage Accord and the current Accord is bigger than a Cadillac, could it be that the aging Honda Fit Sport is, in the words of my Twitter follower, the last "true Honda"? Does it harken back to a time where Hondas were compact and efficient, simple and easy to live with, and most importantly, fun to drive?
                              I grabbed the keys to a fully loaded Blue Raspberry Metallic 2012 Honda Fit Sport with Navigation and hit the road to find out.
                              What's good? Classic Honda performance
                              Under the Fit's abbreviated hood spins the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's motivated the small Honda since its debut in 2008. Output is rated at a modest 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque, with most of that power residing in the upper reaches of the tachometer. The Fit's engine is surprisingly small in the engine bay where it sits exposed, without the plastic shrouding and engine covers that automakers have taken to using to reduce engine noise and make things look tidy when you pop the hood.

                              Small as it may be, this engine is surprisingly loud from behind the wheel and, while I hesitate to call it rough, I was constantly made aware of how much more vibration and sound this engine transmitted into the cabin and through the pedals when compared with, for example, the Hyundai/Kia 1.6-liter engine that motivates the Accent and Rio hatchbacks. Some drivers, myself included, appreciate a car that doesn't hide its engine, and revel in the immediate connection with the eager little 1.5-liter engine as it revs away. However, if you like a quiet and isolated ride from your econobox, you'll want to look elsewhere.
                              Power leaving the engine eventually makes it to the road through the Fit's front wheels, but before it gets there it must go through the transaxle. The Fit Sport comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but if you want any of the cabin tech goodies, you'll be forced to choose the five-speed automatic gearbox. Either way you go, that's one gear short of the current standard of six forward gears, but the Fit's ratios are well-chosen and well-spaced.
                              Just below the standard PRND positions of the automatic shift lever is an S position for the Sport shift program, which is surprisingly good. In this mode, the Fit is transformed from a competent little grocery-getter into a peppy little pocket rocket that's eager to take advantage of the power available near its 6,800rpm redline. For the Fit, going from D to S is akin to taking a double espresso shot; it just wakes up and comes alive.

                              The Sport model also features a manual shift mode actuated with plastic paddle shifters located on the back of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Here again, the Fit surprises with shifts that are reasonably quick. I also like that, when in Sport mode, the Fit doesn't automatically drop back to manual mode -- it will even bump up against the redline if you forget to slap the paddle -- which makes this mode useful for enthusiastic driving. I still think that I'd prefer the manual gearbox, but the automatic isn't half bad.
                              Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 27 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. However, under the influence of my leaden foot, we averaged a trip-computer-approximated 26.5 mpg. Even that number surprised me, since I drove in almost exclusively the Sport and Manual modes for my city driving, stepping back up to the standard program for the highway cruising portion of the testing. A less obnoxious driver could certainly do better than my reported average. Indeed, Car Tech Senior Editor Wayne Cunningham averaged about 30 mpg when testing the 2010 Fit Sport, which is by all accounts identical to this 2012 model.
                              If you've ever lamented the replacement of the small and sporty Honda Civics that made the brand great in the '90s with the large "compact" that bears the moniker these days, lament no more. The Fit is the true spiritual successor of those tossable, flexible Civic hatchbacks of old.
                              The Fit Sport is upgraded from the non-Sport model with 16-inch wheels over 15-inch steelies with wheel covers, a rear stabilizer bar to go along with the standard front stabilizer bar, and select styling upgrades for a sportier appearance. All Fit models use electronic power steering (EPS), but don't turn up your nose just yet. Honda got it right and the Fit's EPS system is one of the best setups in its price class. Steering is responsive and direct with none of the numbness that plagues other EPS systems.
                              What's bad? Old-school cabin tech
                              The Fit's cabin isn't a bad place to be. 360-degree visibility is great thanks to generous glass in the greenhouse. The seating position was also great for my fairly average 5-foot-9 frame. Ergonomics are good, with the steering wheel falling nicely into the hand and the controls for climate system within mere inches of the wheel's rim.

                              However, the Fit, which was never really a tech juggernaut, continues to fall further and further behind the competition where infotainment is concerned.
                              Even without the optional navigation system, the Sport trim level adds two tweeters to the standard four-speaker, 160-watt audio rig. Not that it matters much; the system is still plagued with audible distortion at even a moderate volume and a weak bottom end. A subwoofer would probably help, but one isn't available.

                              At this basic level, audio sources include a USB/iPod connection that enables MP3/WMA playback. However, Honda has chosen to put the USB connection pigtail on the passenger wall of the upper glove compartment, which is as far away from the driver as is physically possible while still being located on the dashboard. Plugging in a USB key, even while parked, was a serious reach for me. Any farther away and it'd be outside of the car!
                              The rest of the standard audio sources include a single-slot CD player that also decodes MP3/WMA, AM/FM radio, and an analog auxiliary input. Missing from this list are a satellite radio option and HD Radio decoding, which you can probably live without.
                              Our fully loaded Fit Sport came equipped with the Honda Satellite Linked Navigation, an all-in-one option that adds a hard-drive-based navigation system to the dashboard with a touch-screen interface. This system is reasonably fast and features a pretty good voice command system that extends beyond navigation to basic audio controls and hands-free calling. However, the graphics are pixelated, jagged, and simple, and street names are difficult to read on the screen. The system lacks spoken street names while navigating and traffic data of any sort. Obviously, it also lacks any sort of connected features such as Google or Bing destination search.

                              It's not all bad, the navigation system. This option is the only way to get Bluetooth hands-free calling or A2DP stereo audio streaming in your Fit Sport, but spending $1,780 on a whole navigation system just to be able to make hands-free calls seems a bit, well, silly.
                              In sum
                              The 2012 Honda Fit Sport with Navigation is a trim level that gets you pretty much every option outside of all-season floor mats and other dealer-installed trinkets. Pricing is simple here, $19,690 plus a $790 destination charge brings you to our as-tested price of $20,480.
                              However, I'd recommend that you skip the Navigation trim level, since it's so dated anyway, and use the $1,780 you save to roll your own cabin tech with an aftermarket receiver. Consider the manual gearbox if you want to really have fun with the Fit and save a few bucks ($850, to be exact) on the front end, since forgoing the tech gives you that option, but don't feel bad for choosing the automatic.

                              Is the Honda Fit a good car? Is it the last of the true Hondas? Yes. However, in the near-decade since the Fit was introduced, the competition has gotten much, much better. Cars like the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, and Ford Fiesta blow the Fit out of the water when it comes to dashboard tech, cabin comfort, and fuel economy. Judged against its peers, the Honda Fit's scores in those categories were merely okay, which is reflected in the middling overall score I gave it.

                              Tech specs
                              Model 2012 Honda Fit
                              Trim Sport with Navigation
                              Power train 1.5-liter engine, 5-speed automatic trans.
                              EPA fuel economy 27 city, 33 highway, 30 combined mpg
                              Observed fuel economy About 26 mpg
                              Navigation Available, hard-drive-based
                              Bluetooth phone support Optional
                              Disc player Single-slot CD
                              MP3 player support Standard analog 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB connection, iPod connection
                              Other digital audio Optional Bluetooth audio streaming
                              Audio system 6-speaker, 160 watts
                              Driver aids N/A
                              Base price $15,325
                              Price as tested $20,480



                              Honda's new identity for car business in India by Sep-end

                              Honda Motor Co will have a new identity for its car business in India by the end of this month following the break-up of its joint venture with Usha International of the Shriram Group.

                              Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co will have a new identity for its car business in India by the end of this month following the break-up of its joint venture with Usha International of the Shriram Group.
                              Last month, the company had announced that it was buying out the Indian partner from their joint venture, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, which was established in December 1995.

                              "We have applied for the name change just a week back and it usually takes two to three weeks time. By the end of this month, the name change should happen," HSCI Senior Vice President and Director Raman Kumar Sharma told PTI.

                              Speaking on the sideline of the annual convention of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) here, Sharma said there would be no other structural change to the company.

                              "The Honda name will of course be there in the identity. We will continue to have two different companies for two wheeler business and car business," he said without disclosing the new name of the company that has been suggested to the Registrar of Companies.

                              Sources, however, said with the dropping of 'Siel', the company could have simply opted for Honda Cars India.

                              He said apart from the exit of Siddharth Shriram, who was the chairman of the company till the JV ended, the HSCI board would remain the same as there were no other directors from the Shriram group.

                              Honda Motor Company had acquired Usha International's entire 3.16 per cent stake in HSCI for Rs 180 crore.

                              Commenting on the new launches, HSCI Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Jnaneswar Sen said an automatic version of hatchback Brio would be launched next month.

                              He said the company is expecting to improve its sales performance during the upcoming festive season.

                              In the April-August this fiscal, the company has sold 29,932 units against 19,433 units in the year-ago period, a jump of 54%.

                              Sen said the company's Greater Noida plant that has an annual capacity of 1.2 lakh units, currently has 60-70% utilisation.

                              When asked if the company will go for price hike due to rupee decline against the yen, he said: "We are studying whether to increase prices or not but we have not taken a decision yet."

                              On the export of components, he said: "We are looking to increase it by expanding the range of part and include some more engine parts."

                              The company is looking to export components worth over Rs 470 crore this year against last year's Rs 299 crore, he added.

                              Last edited by tokyodream; 07-09-12, 12:22.
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                              • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/n...ectid=10832801

                                Honda 2WD SUV: Expectations surpassed

                                When the first CR-V launched back in the mid 1990s, soft-roaders were still a new concept.

                                Honda sold the four-wheel-drive wagon as the ideal family conveyance, complete with picnic table in the boot and another that folded down in the cabin on which to serve wilderness snacks.

                                Now SUVs have hit the mainstream. Only small cars sell in greater numbers and SUVs are seen as everyday family wagons, to the point that increasing numbers arrive in two-wheel-drive format. Like this CR-V S, and several competitors we've driven recently.

                                I'm not a believer. If I want a wagon, I want one that drives like a car; high-riding wagons deliver a commanding view over inner-city traffic, but that's not enough to offset the disadvantages of SUV handling and increased thirst, at least, not in my book. But this Honda suggested I reconsider.

                                Its front wheels are powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol with 114kW and 190Nm that, on paper, looks insufficient to shift this spacious body, and I expected the car to guzzle go-juice to compensate. But after 500km or so of mixed terrain, including trans Waitakeres commutes at an often brisk pace, we averaged 8.2l/100km. That's not too far above the 7.7l/100km claim and well below the 10l/100km or more achieved in equivalent competitors we've recently tried, despite the fact we never tapped the eco button.

                                True, you do need to thrash the throttle to extract anything resembling brisk performance, but it'll deliver daily-driver mode with casually comfy aplomb.

                                And though an over-keen approach to open-road bends results in early understeer, that's not unexpected from the format, which at least delivers comfy ride.

                                Despite a smaller footprint than its predecessor, this is a spacious wagon. Rear seat passengers are especially well off, while you could tuck the AB scrum in that 589-litre boot with room to spare. A lever each side drops the second row seats in one easy movement to liberate 1146 litres.

                                I'm still not sold on 2wd SUVs, but can understand why you'd buy one like this.

                                It delivers a lot of car for the $39,990 price, which includes stability control, six airbags, climate control air, Bluetooth, cruise control and a reversing camera - and velour seats, a fashion faux pas you can fix by spending an extra nine grand for the four-wheel-drive Sport with leather seats and a sunroof.



                                Honda can't drive us down the road to recovery on its own

                                The foreign-owned car industry is thriving but the coalition's new home-grown strategy is struggling to manufacture growth

                                One of the few bright spots in the economy at present is provided by the performance of the British motor industry.

                                Sorry: did I say "British"? I meant, of course, principally the foreign-owned vehicle companies operating in the UK – companies such as the Japanese firm, Honda, which has just reported an impressive export performance and announced expansion plans. Yes, new investment: the sort that, if there is enough of it around the economy – and at present, there most certainly is not – then more jobs will be created, and output and spending will rise.

                                As a result, the beneficiaries of that process will themselves, via their own extra spending, create more demand elsewhere in the economy – what economists, after Keynes and his colleague Richard Kahn, refer to as "multiplier effects".

                                By far the greater part of the British vehicle industry is foreign-owned, and this has caused understandable concerns. Two recent books, Surrender – How British Industry Gave up the Ghost 1952-2012, by Nicholas Comfort, and Britain for Sale, by Alex Brummer, highlight the development and raise concerns. My friend Alex Brummer's book is subtitled British Companies in Foreign Hands – the Hidden Threat to our Economy.

                                Brummer, who is less critical of the Thatcher period than I have ever been, nevertheless concludes that "the pendulum swung against British business which, at times, became a plaything for the international speculators". It is, he says, "time to redress the balance".

                                Comfort – in common, I suspect, with the current government – places his hopes for revival on "the innovative spirit" which he believes is "alive and well" and capable of producing "world beaters", if governments give it a chance.

                                We shall come to that in a minute. First, however, I think someone should put in a few words for some of these foreign owners. It is true that, at times, British business is a plaything for international speculators. It is also true that it can be a plaything for home-grown speculators.

                                But it is worth remembering that foreign owners often came to the rescue of parts of British industry that were badly damaged by the antipathy to manufacturing that was characteristic of the Thatcher years. This antipathy was manifested not only in the absurd view that manufacturing hardly mattered and our future lay entirely in services. It was also seen in erroneous economic policies that damaged British manufacturing, with that damage sometimes being terminal.

                                That we have such a thriving, foreign-owned motor industry is a result, not least, of the good work of dissident members of Mrs Thatcher's cabinets, such as Michael Heseltine and the late Peter Walker, who actively courted foreign investment to fill the gaps. Regional development agencies were also important, as were some excellent civil servants in the department that has suffered many a name change over the years, but which I prefer to call the Department of Trade and Industry. They kept the industrial flag flying.

                                But if much of British industry is foreign-owned, the same cannot be said for British economic policy, which is home-grown and home-owned – with occasional exceptions, as in 1976, when Jim Callaghan's Labour government had to take dictation from the International Monetary Fund, which itself was taking dictation from the US government.

                                Recognising, although not officially, that its strategy of "expansionary fiscal contraction" has failed, the current government has now unveiled, in a curious, piecemeal way, a so-called growth strategy. This is a ragbag of ideas that have been on the back burner for some time, ranging from financial guarantees for private-sector infrastructure investment to assistance for house building and the encouragement of bank lending.

                                It would be churlish to dismiss any effort aimed at kickstarting this economy, but the basic problem is that the government has still not got the message. And it pains me to say this, but it is not obvious yet that the offer of some kind of roving economic brief to my old friend Kenneth Clarke will make a lot of difference – unless he recognises that his achievement, of which he is proud, of presiding over a successful deficit reduction plan in the 1990s took place in far more auspicious circumstances. Those were times of rapid economic growth here and abroad. The position now is that there is what analysts term a "synchronised slowdown" in the world economy.

                                The time has come for policymakers to take another look at the conclusions of the late Christopher Dow's great work – Major Recessions. Dow found that recovery from a major recession required "stimulatory measures equivalent to between 1% and 3% of GDP per year for a period of years". He was referring to fiscal measures, and the only cautionary note was that "output growth should not be more than 0.5-1% above the trend rate".

                                We are nowhere near the trend rate. Indeed, we have no growth at all. And the fiscal measures are contractionary, not expansionary. When is the coalition going to come to its senses?



                                Honda needs new Accord to be a hit in U.S. market

                                Targets 350,000 annual US sales for 9th-generation Accord

                                * Accord's US market share has shrunk to 12.2 pct

                                * Launch occurs as rivals unveil their own redesigns

                                By Ben Klayman

                                YPSILANTI, Mich., Sept 7 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co needs the next generation of its bread-and-butter mid-sized car, the Accord, to be a hit in the United States.

                                The Japanese automaker is counting on the 2013 Accord, being launched this month, to recapture share in the U.S. market's largest and most competitive segment. Rivals are not standing still, with Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co , General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co rolling out redesigned models of their own.

                                "There's no question that Accord is the single most important model in our lineup," Honda Vice President Mike Accavitti said at an event outside Detroit to introduce the car.

                                Analysts have said the new Accord needs to be a home run for Honda, whose 2012 Civic small car was criticized by some reviewers for uninspired design and bumpy ride. The success of the new Accord, which includes a new generation of engines and transmissions to boost fuel efficiency, is also crucial for Honda's global sales ambitions.

                                Honda has set a global sales target of 4.3 million vehicles in the financial year to March 2013, up 38 percent from the previous year, with North America to account for about 40 percent of the total. Honda expects to sell almost 1.3 million vehicles in the United States this year.

                                With an annual sales target in the U.S. market of 350,000 cars for the ninth-generation Accord, Honda has a big challenge as it has seen the car's market share in its segment shrink from 15.7 percent in 2009 to 12.2 percent so far this year, according to TrueCar.com.

                                "Honda's going to have a tough time recapturing share," said Bob Martin, a senior consultant at product development firm The CARLAB. "Despite their claims that it's a revolutionary new design, I just don't think it's a big enough change to beat back Hyundai, Kia, (Volkswagen AG's ) Passat and of course the Ford Fusion.

                                "Honda and Toyota's biggest problem is that there's no one selling crappy cars here anymore," he added. "With U.S. automakers making the improvements they've made, they're not so far behind that you'd have to be a fool to buy a Chevy."

                                Martin questioned whether Honda can get back to 300,000 annual Accord sales. It has sold almost 220,000 through August, up 35 percent from last year but far off the pace of 1998 through 2001 when Accord's U.S. sales annually topped 400,000.

                                The Accord sedan will go on sale Sept. 19, followed by the coupe version in October and a plug-in hybrid version early next year. A conventional hybrid model will go on sale in the summer of 2013.

                                FEW DOGS

                                Honda has not disclosed the pricing for the 2013 Accord, but it is expected to be similar to the current model, which starts at $22,280. In a still-recovering market where automakers battle for every sale, that could be key as consumers focus on price and value, analysts said.

                                "There's not a lot of dogs out there now," said Edmunds.com analyst Bill Visnic. "It's going to get to a point where $500 or $1,000 price difference once again becomes a big deal to somebody shopping in this segment."

                                Visnic added he would not be surprised if Honda were forced to quickly ramp up incentives on the new Accord just as it did with the Civic. "Even on an all-new vehicle, we've seen a lot of automakers breaking the ice with the incentives pretty quickly," he said.

                                The Accord, launched in 1976, is Honda's best-selling vehicle. Previous generations of the Accord helped solidify the Japanese automaker's reputation for easy-to-drive, smartly engineered cars with good fuel mileage.

                                Honda, which has acknowledged that it lost its way on design across the company, revamped its development process to avoid more cars like the 2012 Civic, which Consumer Reports savaged last summer for its low-quality interior and choppy ride, dropping it from the magazine's recommended list for the first time ever and ranking it near the bottom among small cars.

                                In fact, the Accord design already has been tweaked as Honda managers in a design review last year criticized what they saw as bland, according to an executive who attended the event who asked not to be identified discussing internal strategy. As a result, the initial design was scrapped.

                                Honda hopes the new Accord, including a bigger interior and shorter exterior, will help it keep pace with or outsell the likes of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata.

                                Asked about the new versions of the Altima and Fusion, John Mendel, vice president of sales at American Honda Motor, said he was not worried.

                                "Neither of those cars is a threat to our retail sales position in America," he said in an email. "We welcome the competition."



                                Honda lusts after BMW bodies

                                LOS ANGELES -- It is tacitly acknowledged by some in the industry that BMW's 3 series is the best sports sedan in the world. Want evidence? Why else would automaker product planners from Lexus to Cadillac to even Hyundai endlessly talk about creating a "3-series fighter?"

                                So it's not really surprising when new vehicles have traits that emulate that BMW benchmark.

                                But has the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord taken it too far?

                                Look at these body shots of the Accord and the BMW. Or is it the BMW and the Accord?

                                Check out the sheet metal crease that inclines ever so slightly toward the back of the car, and how it runs through the similarly styled door grab handles. There's the nearly identical flow of the roof into the rear deck, and the hat-tip to the famed "Hofmeister kink" of the C-pillar. The shape and scale of the side mirrors are knockoffs. Heck, even the wheel covers are the same.

                                Is this flattery by imitation? Or just plain derivative styling because Honda's designers ran out of ideas?

                                Honda engineers say their new body stamping technology gives their side crease a tighter radius than that of the BMW. I guess that makes it "creasier" than the BMW.

                                But as we all know, just because it looks like a BMW, doesn't mean it is a BMW.

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